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No crash-landing in Lagos, Nigeria – salvaged plane was being towed

Videos of a wingless passenger plane on a busy road have circulated widely on social media in Nigeria, with the claim the plane crash-landed on a road near the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Ikeja, Lagos. 

The claim was also published by a few local news platforms in late May 2022. 

But what’s the full story?


Authorities debunk the claim

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), the government agency that manages commercial airports in the country, debunked the claim.

FAAN said in a 24 May Facebook post that the public should “disregard the news making the rounds on social media about an alleged crash at Ikeja Airport. The aircraft was sold by the owner to a buyer, who was taking it to its final destination”. 

The Lagos State Emergency Agency also debunked the claim, saying “nothing of such happened”, according to Punch newspaper.

No sign of impact on aircraft

The plane in the video also shows no sign of impact and the wings seem neatly removed. 

In a thread of tweets, aviation analyst Daniel Dikio noted it was an Airbus A319, and that the wings were separated cleanly. 

“This wouldn't happen in a crash, the separation is a sign of dismantling. There is no damage to the fuselage, almost impossible given the purported circumstances.

“I have reviewed air traffic data and can't find anything unusual. Also, all the active A320 family aircraft in Nigeria are accounted for by my count,” Dikio tweeted.

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