Helicopter crash in Nigeria kills 3

AP News
Posted: Jul 30, 2011 11:53 AM
Helicopter crash in Nigeria kills 3

A Nigerian businesswoman, her personal assistant and their Filipino pilot were killed Saturday in a helicopter crash in Nigeria's southwest, authorities said.

Josephine Oluwadamilola Kuteyi chartered a helicopter to travel from the commercial capital of Lagos to the central Nigerian city of Ilorin in Kwara state, said Harold Demuren, the director general of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.

Kuteyi ran a business in the town of Bacita about 124 miles (200 kilometers) away from Ilorin. According to its website, Josepdam Group imports and markets refined industrial sugar. It also has a stake in Nigeria's maritime, agro-allied and real estate industries.

The helicopter hired from OAS helicopters crashed in a hilly area outside Ife-Odan in Osun state about 71 miles (115 kilometers) away from its final destination Saturday, killing all three occupants, said the spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency, Yushau Shuaib.

Shuaib said villagers helped to search for the bodies for six hours inside a forest because a device meant to send out distress calls and provide exact location details had not been activated on the aircraft.

The agency's director-general, Muhammed Sani-Sidi, has invited all airline and aircraft operators to meet Thursday in Lagos to reinforce the use of the device known as a 406 MHZ Beacon which is also installed on ships.

The agency said a private plane crash that killed a British pilot and a Nigerian plane engineer on a test-run just outside the northern Nigerian city of Kaduna in May did not have its emergency device activated either.