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Nigerian Passenger Plane Crashes on Takeoff Killing 14

Oct. 3 (Bloomberg) -- An Embraer 120 plane carrying 20 people crashed shortly after takeoff from Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos, killing at least 14, officials said.

Thirteen passengers and seven crew members were on board the aircraft, operated by Associated Airlines and headed for Akure in southwestern Nigeria, Joe Obi, a spokesman for the Aviation Ministry, said by phone from the capital, Abuja. Two survivors are critically injured and four are in a stable condition at the hospital, he said. Captain Muhtar Usman, head of the ministry’s Accident Investigation Bureau, confirmed the deaths by phone.

“It came down shortly after takeoff, the aircraft couldn’t lift properly,” Obi said. The twin-propeller plane crashed 500 meters (0.3 miles) from the airport at 9:32 a.m. local time and didn’t hit any buildings or catch fire, he said.

The incident follows Nigeria’s deadliest crash in almost 40 years in June last year, when a Dana Airlines Ltd. plane carrying 146 passengers and seven crew members plunged into the Agege suburb of Lagos, killing everyone on board and about 10 people on the ground.

The passengers included family members taking the body of Olusegun Agagu, a former aviation minister, to his funeral, Oluwafemi Oke-Osanyintolu, director of the Lagos emergency agency, told reporters. Initially 27 people were thought to be on board, according to the Aviation Ministry.

The flight data recorder has been recovered, Ibrahim Farinloye, a spokesmen for the Nigerian National Emergency Management Agency, said by phone from Lagos.

The Accident Investigation Bureau has started investigating the cause of the crash, Yakubu Dati, a spokesman for the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, told reporters in Lagos. Dati declined to comment on the identity of the passengers until an official manifest is available.

To contact the reporters on this story: Chris Kay in Abuja at ckay5@bloomberg.net; Yinka Ibukun in Lagos at yibukun@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dulue Mbachu at dmbachu@bloomberg.net

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