Fire service officials averted what could have been a tragedy at the Aminu Kano International Airport last night as they scrambled a response to a sudden fire that caught a fuel tanker feeding a Turkish airlines aircraft, a witness has said.
The tanker was however burnt to ashes while the aircraft, an Airbus 340, which was to airlift passengers from Kano to Istanbul, was partly damaged.
The flight was subsequently cancelled with the passengers, most of whom had arrived the airport, disappointed.
Garba Shehu, the Media Consultant to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who was travelling with his family, told PREMIUM TIMES the aircraft was saved from being completely burnt following a quick decision by officials to hurriedly tow it away from the burning truck.
Mr. Shehu said, “The Airbus 340 aircraft which had the burning truck under its wings made a miraculous escape following a decision to tow it away from the fire just in time before the fuel-laden tanker burst into a towering flame.
“The flight taking my family and I, among many other passengers to Istanbul from Kano was cancelled a short while ago following indications that the aircraft, even though not destroyed, was partly damaged on its wing.
“Fire engines at the airport emptied their contents without any serious impact on the raging fire, which burnt without let until it had consumed the oil tanker.”
The cause of the fire remained unknown as officials of the airport and other aviation authorities could not be reached this morning. Officials of Turkish Airlines could also not be reached as at the time of this report.
PREMIUM TIMES recalls that Kaduna airport was temporarily closed on April 20 after fire ravaged the airport’s control tower, completely destroying the facility.
Flights only resumed a day later at the airport after a mobile control tower was brought in from Abuja.
Authorities said at the time that investigations had been commissioned to determine the cause of the fire.
The result of the investigation is yet to be made public.