At least 50 passengers were rescued when fire gutted the tyres of an aircraft operated by Dana Airlines Limited in Port Harcourt.
The incident occurred on Monday evening at the Port Harcourt airport, our correspondent learnt.
It was also gathered that no life was lost and no passenger was injured as first responders including operatives of the fire service at the airport moved in to control the situation.
In a statement on Tuesday morning, Dana Air spokesman, Kingsley Ezenwa.
It was titled, ‘Press statement on Port Harcourt Incident of 2/5/22’ said the aircraft had been grounded pending the conclusion of their investigations.
It partly read, “Our aircraft with registration number 5N JOY operating flight 9J 344 from Port Harcourt to Lagos on 2nd of May 2022, was set to take off when the pilot in command noticed an anomaly which he queried with the Air Traffic Control before embarking on a ramp return in line with our strict safety operating procedures
“However, the impact on the brakes as a result of the aborted take off affected the aircraft tyres which sparked off while the aircraft was taxiing to repark
“All 50 passengers onboard the aircraft disembarked safely and our maintenance team have immediately grounded the aircraft pending the conclusion of their investigations.
“Once again, we sincerely apologize to all the passengers on the flight for the inconveniences caused due to the eventual cancellation of the flight.”
The Nigerian civil airspace has maintained a relatively safe record in about a decade now which has increased passengers' confidence in air travel. The last air crash in the country involving a commercial airplane was in June 2012 when a Dana Air MD-83 aircraft from Abuja crashed near the Lagos airport while attempting an emergency landing, killing all 153 souls on board and six on the ground.