Information available to 247ureports.com indicates disaster may have been averted by the Abubakar Atiku presidential campaign at the Anambra State International Airport as one of the three aircraft catch fire shortly after take-off. This was following the conclusion of the People Democratic Party [PDP] presidential rally held in Anambra State on Thursday December 15, 2022 at the Ekwueme Square in Awka, the capital city.
At the conclusion of the campaign rally, the PDP presidential candidate and the dignitaries who had joined the campaign train trooped to the Anambra Airport where three private Jets were parked awaiting the arrival of the PDP campaign train.
Alhaji Abubakar Atiku and his immediate family and close aides boarded one of the Jets and taxied out. It took off uneventfully. The second Jet also taxied and took off uneventfully.
However, the third Jet was not as successful.
The third Jet which had occupants that included PDP personalities like Imoke and others – caught fire while taxis-ing. The engines of the private Jet ignited and went up in flames. The take-off was immediately aborted.
It took the fire arresting equipment and machinery called Airport Crash Tender to douse the flames. An airport crash tender (known in some countries as an airport fire appliance) is a specialised fire engine designed for use in aircraft rescue and firefighting at aerodromes, airports, and military air bases. The Airport Crash Tender was installed by the Obiano administration as requirement to get approval for Anambra Airport as an International Airport.
The aircraft presently seats abandoned at the airport.
Meanwhile, while the Airport Crash Tender rescued the private Jet, another Jet arrived to pick up the stranded PDP personalities.
A top source within the Atiku presidential campaign however told 247ureports.com that the incident was not as intense as reported. The source who claimed to be present at the Airport stated that the plane was not airborne when the incident occurred. He indicated that the pilot had noticed heavy smoke coming out of the Jet’s engine immediately after he switched on the Plane’s engines. With this, the flight was aborted. The source stated that the plane had not taken off. But another private Jet arrived to collect the affected PDP personalities.
The affected plane was then treated by the Airport Crash Tender.