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Nigeria: Plane Crash Kills 100
Muslim spiritual leader among those who died in the accident
Bala Muhammad Makosa (babanjawad)     Print Article 
Published 2006-10-30 10:11 (KST)   
A Nigerian airliner carrying 104 passengers crashed after takeoff Sunday near Abuja, the capital. Reports are still sketchy but at least 95 people are believed to have died in the crash.

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Among those killed were the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Maccido, who was the spiritual leader of Nigeria's Muslims, and his son.

Also killed in the crash were some notable northern leaders, including a deputy governor, an education commissioner, and a senator.

The ADC Airlines Boeing 727 was leaving on a flight from Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja northwest to the city of Sokoto, about 500 miles away.

According to Ibrahim Farinloye, a spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency, the plane crashed into a field and burst into flames about two kilometers from the runway.

"President Olusegun Obasanjo is deeply and profoundly shocked and saddened by the news of the reported air crash of an airliner in the environ of the federal capital territory today," presidential spokeswoman Oluremi Oyo said in a statement.

She also confirmed that Obasanjo had ordered an immediate investigation into the crash.

Last month, 10 senior army commanders were killed when their military plane crashed. The Nigerian 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.

Obasanjo has blamed corruption and corner cutting for poor aviation safety.

Efforts are being made to compile a list of those killed in the plane wreck, and the survivors.

A source from Sokoto said that the city was already in mourning over the loss of the Maccido.
©2006 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Bala Muhammad Makosa

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