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Nigerian airline defends safety record in wake of accident



The Nigerian government has suspended Dana Air’s flights indefinitely following the crash of one of its MD-83 aircraft Sunday. The accident killed all 153 people on board and at least six more on the ground when both of the plane’s engines and it hit several buildings in a poor neighborhood about five miles from the airport in Lagos. In response to public outcry in Nigeria over lax aviation safety, government officials have pledged to audit all of the country’s domestic airlines. While Dana Air was a private company, observers indicate that the seriousness of this accident could imperil the government’s legitimacy if officials do not address the perceived weak safety record of the country’s airlines. While the cockpit voice and flight data recorders have been recovered, their contents haven’t been made public yet, so it is unclear why the plane’s engines failed. Nevertheless, airline officials said neither Dana Air nor the flight crew were at fault, since the plane had been pre-flighted by the crew before it took off Sunday.