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Governor Shettima, Senator Saraki, others escape death in London

By News Express on 24/05/2014

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Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima and former governor of Kwara State, Senator Bukola Saraki were among top Nigerian political leaders who escaped death on a British Airways flight 082 that was struck by thunder while approaching Heathrow international airport in London on Thursday.

Beside the duo of Shettima and Saraki, who are both chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC), former Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Hon. Victor Ochei, and other top Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chiefs were also on board the plane which hovered for over 40 minutes in the air before heading towards Birmingham airport for emergency landing.

“The weather in Heathrow was so bad that after hovering for about 40 minutes without being able to land and with the plane running short on fuel, the pilots took the best decision to head to Birmingham because we had already been hit by a lightning which caused a loud bang in the plane and damaged some electrical,” one of the passengers aboard the flight revealed.

It was gathered that the flight, which left Abuja around 8am on Thursday, was billed to land at Heathrow airport at about 2:30pm. The source further disclosed that after the emergency landing in Birmingham, Governor Shettima, Saraki and others were kept in the plane for about two hours during which the aircraft was refuelled and an attempt was made at fixing “some engineering issues caused by the thunder.”

When it was certain that the plane could not continue the journey back to London, all the passengers were asked to disembark into three luxury buses at about 6pm which took them by road to London.

The journey by road from Birmingham to London, which lasted for about four hours due to traffic jam, was said to have left many of the passengers with pre-booked train trips to their destinations outside London stranded.

“Unfortunately, we were left unattended to at Birmingham because BA has no ground staff at Birmingham before we were eventually transported by road and sadly again, we got to London at about 10pm when many people could not go anywhere and still, we had to bear the brunt of looking for accommodation for ourselves,” one of the passengers stated.

“The shock of the loud bang caused by the thunder and the several hours spent both in the air hovering and on the road left many of us weak and sick but our joy is that we survived what could have been a major disaster on the heels of the Boko Haram inflicted tragedies in Nigeria,” the source added.

•Text courtesy of Saturday Sun. Photo shows Governor Shettima.

Source News Express

Posted 24/05/2014 12:06:14 PM


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