An aircraft belonging to Max Air has reportedly crash-landed at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja after the tyre reportedly burst into flames on Sunday.
TNN reports that the aircraft had arrived from Yola, Adamawa State when the incident happened and the Aerodrome Rescue and Fire-fighting Service (ARFFS) which operates at the airport was swiftly mobilised to put off the fire.
According to a former President of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Mike Ogirima, who was on the aircraft when the incident occurred, “the tyre burst occurred after takeoff at Yola Airport.”
The aircraft, however, crash-landed in Abuja with emergency officials already on ground to put off the fire before the passengers disembarked right at the runway.
Ogirima stated, “We thank God. We are still on the runway and the pilot has reassured us. He has called for the stairs and we are now disembarking from the runway to be evacuated to the airport building at the arrival hall.”
“We bless God because we have witnessed the pull out of the tyre right from the airport in Yola and we went into a prayer session. I never announced it as a surgeon so as not to cause any panic but we bless God.”
The passengers were safely disembarked from the runway while the runway was temporarily shut until the evacuation of the aircraft.
A statement by the management of the airline on its official Twitter handle on Sunday evening, confirmed that “On May 7, 2023, a Max Air flight with 143 passengers and 01 infant on board, departing from Yola at around 14:05, was scheduled to arrive in Abuja at 15:00.”
“However, the aircraft experienced two tire bursts on landing in Abuja, and the emergency response team quickly responded at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.”
“We are pleased to report that all passengers and crew on board the aircraft are safe and sound. The airline has taken all necessary steps to ensure that the passengers are comfortable and are being taken care of during this time.”
“They have been conveyed to the arrival terminal with their luggage and belongings.”
“The aircraft tires are being replaced and the aircraft will taxi to the ramp for further investigations before being released for future flights.”
“Max Air is committed to providing safe and reliable air travel to all its passengers. We thank all the passengers for their patience and understanding for what transpired.”
“The airline would like to extend its appreciation to the airport authorities, emergency services, and all relevant agencies who responded promptly and professionally to ensure the safety of all passengers and crew on board.”
“Max Air will continue to provide updates on the situation as more information becomes available.”