The management of Arik Air has said the emergency landing on Friday of its Boeing 737 aircraft flying from Lagos to Jos was due to a noise in one of the engines.The aircraft, with registration number 5N-MJD, reportedly lost one of its two engines mid-air with over 100 passengers on board.
SaharaReporters, quoting an unnamed source, said the aircraft was already 60 miles away from Lagos when the incident occurred.
Immediately after the pilot discovered the problem, he contacted the Lagos control tower, which granted him emergency landing status, the online news site added.
But Adebanji Ola, the Arik Air Spokesperson, said the aircraft did not lose an engine.
“It was not an engine loss,” he said in a text message response to PREMIUM TIMES on Sunday.
“The captain heard a noise and as a safety precaution, he made an air return. This is a standard operating procedure.”
Passengers aboard the aircraft panicked when they were informed that they would return to Lagos, according to SaharaReporters.
Upon landing in Lagos, the news site said, the aircraft could not taxi out of the runway and had to be towed, by the Airport Rescue and Fire-Fighting Services, a department in the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, to the Hajj and Cargo terminal area of the airport where the passengers disembarked.
PREMIUM TIMES was unable to reach the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority. The phone line of its spokesperson, Sam Adurogboye, was switched off on Sunday.
Tunji Oketunbi, the Spokesperson of the Accident Investigation Bureau, said the agency was yet to be made aware of the incident.
“Up till now, I’ve not been able to establish that they reported it to us,” Mr. Oketunbi told PREMIUM TIMES on Sunday.