Wednesday, August 28, 2013

► NIGERIA: Young whippersnapper survives 45minute ride in wheel-well of an Arik Air 737.

Arik AirA teenage Nigerian stowaway survived a 45-minute flight from the southern Nigerian city of Benin to Lagos MMA in the wheel-well of an Arik Air (W3) B737-700 (MSN 33944 | 5N-MJG) on Saturday, August 24. On arrival in Lagos, the boy, Daniel Ihekina, was arrested by airport authorities when attempting to get down and handed over to the Nigerian State Security Services for further questioning.

Daniel Ihekina
Nigerian press reports claim Ihekina had run away from home after a dispute with his parents and had believed the aircraft was on its way to the United States.

Following his detention, the boy's mother and father were called to Lagos to collect him.

The incident has now caused a row between the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and Arik Air, with both accusing each other of negligence. While FAAN said the pilot of the plane should have aborted his takeoff plans after he was informed by a passenger that a boy, who was seen approaching the plane, had "disappeared", Arik Air believed it was up to the security agencies at the airport to prevent such incursions.

Panapress reports that with initial investigations pointing to holes in the airport's boundary, FAAN spokesman Yakubu Dati said the agency had prioritised the perimeter fencing of all the 22 airports in the country.
In the meantime, we have adopted risk amelioration processes to safeguard flight operations. As a result of this incident in Benin, we have further tightened our risk amelioration procedure to ensure that a similar incident does not occur,” he  said.
Several stowaway as well as airport incursion cases have been recorded at the country's airports, with most of them blamed on the poor condition and/or absence of perimeter fencing. Last year, the body of a young man was discovered in the wheel-well of an Arik Air A340-500 on landing in New York.