Dana crash: Lagos to hold remembrance at site
The Lagos State Government says families of victims of the June 3, 2012 plane crash at Iju-Ishaga have agreed to a low-key remembrance programme at the site of the crash on Monday.
It will be exactly a year on Monday since the crash of the Dana Airline McDonnell Douglas MD-83 in which all the 153 passengers on the Abuja-Lagos flight died.
Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr. Wale Ahmed, and his Information counterpart, Mr. Lateef Ibirogba, said in a briefing in Lagos on Friday that the commemoration would include unveiling of a cenotaph constructed at the crash site.
Ahmed said, “It will be a low-key programme because it is a solemn period. We need to empathise with the victims’ families. We all feel their pain.
“We were not preparing for a crash at the time that unfortunate incident occurred but the state had enough structure on the ground to move in and mitigate the situation.
“We learnt a lot of lessons from the incident. One of such lessons is the need to reduce response time during emergency situations. Reducing the time lapse between an incident and when emergency officials get there will save a lot of lives.”
He said as part of efforts to realise this, the ministry had mandated the forming of emergency units in each council area of the state.
According to him, members of these units will be the first responders, who will ensure crowd control in any emergency incident in their jurisdiction.
“A lot could have turned out better if the crowd that besieged the Dana crash site gave emergency officials a chance to perform their duties effectively,” Ahmed said.
The commissioner, however, avoided questions relating to compensation and what the state had done for the families.
He explained that Governor Babatunde Fashola will give an insight into the issue when he unveils the cenotaph at the crash site on Monday.
Ibirogba added that during the recovery efforts following the Dana crash, emergency vehicles faced the problem of motorists, who were trying to compete for right of way.