Management of Aero Contractors, Nigeria’s oldest airline has challenged media reports that were recently spread on social media, explaining that flight NG316, which departed Port Harcourt airport on April 18, 2017 at 1608GMT, en-route Lagos, with 52 adults and one infant on board landed safely.

Commending the pilot and the entire crew for the professionalism they displayed in handling the situation, Aero management pointed out that, there have been different accounts of the incidents with some claiming that the smoke came from the baggage compartment while other allude to all manner of unverified claims.

In an official statement issued yesterday and made available to LEADERSHIP, the airline management led by Capt. Ado Sanusi, chief executive officer stated that it has ordered for full-scale investigation into the incident, adding that “preliminary reports has it that at 1645 GMT about 75NM to Lagos at 24,00ft, the cabin crew observed that the cabin was misty. This was reported to the Captain, who briefed the passengers accordingly assuring them of a safe landing in Lagos in a couple of minutes”.

It further stated “Expectedly as announced by the pilot, normal descent was initiated into Lagos. While descending however, a passenger went into the lavatory, after which the lavatory smoke detector alarm came on. The cabin crew again reported this incident to the Captain and by this time the smoke was getting denser in the cabin”.

“Ready and armed with “Aft Cargo Smoke” indication in the flight deck, the crew carried out the smoke dispersal procedures and contacted air traffic control at 1655GMT, requesting for emergency support services and proceeded to Lagos, which is the airport with the full complement of emergency support. At this stage again, the cabin crew reassured the passengers and handed out wet towels to them as a precautionary measure for such incidents”, the airline informed.

According to Aero, the Captain also announced to the passengers to be calm as the smoke in question did not present any irritation or discomfort, emphasizing that the aircraft landed at 1703 GMT without any incident.

“Although the company engineers had carried out the routine systems checks, and reported all normal, Capt. Sanusi who has also reported the incident to the appropriate authorities in the country said another round of thorough investigation was ongoing”, the statement added.

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