“All 7 personnel on board died in the crash,” Air Vice Marshal Ibikunle Daramola stated on Twitter.
He added that the Chief of the Air Staff has ordered an instantaneous investigation into the incident.
“A military aircraft King Air 350 has just crashed short of our Abuja runway after reporting engine failure enroute [to] Minna. It appears to be fatal,” stated the nation’s aviation minister, Hadi Sirika, confirming the incident in a press release.
In a follow-up communication Sunday afternoon, a spokesman on the Ministry of Aviation, James Odaudu, stated the “aircraft reported engine failure at time 10:39 and crashed landed on the final approach path of Abuja Runway 22 at time 10:48UTC.”
Odaudu stated hearth fighters have been deployed to the scene to place out a raging blaze that had engulfed the airplane.
An aviation employee who requested to not be named — citing lack of official clearance to speak to the press — instructed CNN that he witnessed the crash.
“The crash occurred not very far from the runway. The pilot had tried returning to the runway after taking off,” he stated.
The employee stated the pilot swerved the aircraft to its crash website which is in a desolate space. He stated the plane narrowly prevented warehouses and makeshift settlements across the Nnamdi Azikwe International airport.