Sunday, October 29, 2006

NIGERIAN SULTAN AMONG THE CRASH DEAD !

The spiritual leader of Nigeria's Muslims was among those killed after a plane carrying about 100 people crashed near the capital, Abuja, officials say.
The Sultan of Sokoto Mohammadu Maccido and his son, a senator, and other northern leaders were on board the ADC airlines flight to the city of Sokoto.
The plane crashed in a storm shortly after take-off, state radio said. Four people have reportedly survived.
This is Nigeria's third major air disaster in a little over a year.
The BBC's Alex Last in Nigeria says twisted, smouldering remnants of the plane litter the crash site on the edge of Abuja airport.
'Flames'
Sokoto State government spokesman Mustapha Sheu said that the northern state's deputy governor, education commissioner and another senator were killed, along with the sultan and his son.
"The plane crashed and burst into flames at the outskirts of Abuja," said National Emergency Management Agency spokesman Ibrahim Farinloye.

Leads Nigeria's 70m Muslims
Sokoto base for 19th Century jihad, spreading Islam across northern Nigeria
Sokoto still Nigeria's centre for Islamic learning
"President Olusegun Obasanjo is deeply and profoundly shocked and saddened by the news of the reported air crash," presidential spokeswoman Oluremi Oyo said in a statement.
The president has ordered an investigation, she said.
Nigeria's Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) secretary-general Lateef Adegbite described the sultan's death as a tragedy, reports the AFP news agency.
"We are devastated by the tragic plane crash. It has left the Muslim faithfuls without leadership," he said.
Sokoto State Governor Attahiru Bafarawa announced five days of mourning for the sultan and the other victims of the crash, AFP reports.
AP news agency says that the plane was a Boeing 727.
The government had already announced a major plan to overhaul the aviation industry and improve safety following last year's disasters, which killed more than 200 people.
Several airlines were grounded while safety checks were carried out.
ADC planes were not involved in last year's crashes.
The president himself blamed corruption and corner-cutting for poor safety standards.
Last month 10 senior army commanders were killed when their military plane crashed.
Our correspondent says that air travel in Nigeria has boomed in recent years, but this crash will raise further questions as to how these safety reforms are being implement.
BBC NEWS REPORT.

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