Nigeria Suspends Airlines After Crash in Commercial Hub

Nigeria stopped flights by two airlines, including Associated Airlines, whose Embraer 120 aircraft crashed on takeoff from the Lagos airport four days ago, killing 14 people, the Aviation Ministry said.

Associated Airlines was suspended along with Dana Airlines Ltd., another local carrier, which “has been having issues over the past months,” Joe Obi, a spokesman for the Aviation Ministry, said by phone today from Abuja, the capital. “The suspension is to make room for maintenance and operational checks.”

A twin-propeller Embraer 120 plane, carrying thirteen passengers and seven crew, crashed shortly after takeoff from Lagos on Oct. 3. The passengers included family members taking the body of Olusegun Agagu, a former aviation minister, to his funeral.

The incident follows Nigeria’s deadliest crash in almost 40 years in June last year, when a Dana Airlines 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.

Lagos-based Dana Airlines resumed flights in January after the crash last year.

Dana will “continue to cooperate with the aviation authorities and abide by all local and international safety regulations,” Tony Usidamen, a spokesman for the company, said today in an e-mailed statement today.

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