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550 Benue pilgrims cheat death in Minna plane clash



Kaduna pegs 2019 Hajj fare at N1.5m

Benue pilgrims numbering about 550 cheated death on Saturday in Minna, when the plane conveying them crash-landed at the Minna Airport.

They were returning to Nigeria from Hajj in Saudi Arabia.

No life was lost in the incident.

A source at the airport said that the incident, involving a Boeing 747-400, occurred around 5am.

It was gathered that the aircraft developed a technical fault on approaching the airport, resulting in its forceful landing, which made one of the engines to grate the runway, thereby causing damage to the engine.

It was also gathered that part of the runway was affected and that some materials were also damaged by the grating after which the aircraft skidded off the runway.

An eyewitness said by the time the passengers came out of the aircraft, they were visibly in shock, given the severity of the crash-landing.

The eyewitness added that the pilgrims rushed out of the plane over fears of possible fire.

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When contacted, the Public Relations Officer of the state Pilgrims Welfare Board, Hassana Isah, confirmed the story but did not give further details.

Isah, however, said the development would not affect the return of the over 2,000 pilgrims still in Saudi Arabia, adding that the deadline for the pilgrims to return would be met.

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