Cablegate: Nigeria Requests U.S. Assistance in Investigating
241544Z Oct 05
UNCLAS ABUJA 002039
STATE FOR AF, CA, DS
DOT FOR OIA, ALSO FAA
DAKAR FOR FAA EDWARD JONES
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CASC EAIR ASEC AEMR AMGT NI BELLVIEW
SUBJECT: NIGERIA REQUESTS U.S. ASSISTANCE IN INVESTIGATING
BELLVIEW AIRLINES' FATAL CRASH
REF: A. ABUJA 2032 AND PREVIOUS
B. LAGOS 1648 AND PREVIOUS
1. (U) This cable contains an action request. Please see
2. (U) The Government of Nigeria (GON) requested in a letter
dated Oct. 24 technical assistance from the U.S. Government
in investigating the Oct. 22 crash of a Bellview Airlines
Boeing 737 about 30 km north of Lagos. According to press
reports, all of the flight's six crew members and all 111
passengers were killed. The victims included the chief of
the U.S. Embassy's Office of Defense Cooperation (ODC). The
cause of the crash is not known.
3. (U) The letter (ref B), which was signed by F.C.
Onyeyiri, director general of the Nigerian Civil Aviation
Authority, is inspecific and contains only two substantive
paragraphs. The letter's main point notes the GON wishes
"to formally request for technical assistance in our
determined effort to move the aviation industry forward
especially in the light of the recent accident involving a
Boeing 737 aircraft in our country."
4. (SBU) The GON's rescue efforts following the plane crash
were poorly coordinated, contradictory, and chaotic. The
GON also did not initially maintain security at or safeguard
the crash site.
5. (SBU) Embassy Abuja requests that the Department and U.S.
transportation and safety agencies interpret as broadly as
possible Nigeria's request for help, to include assistance
in the areas of forensic and accident investigation. This
also will aid the U.S. Mission Nigeria in securing the
remains of its ODC commander. Embassy Abuja continues to
provide support and assistance to the family of its deceased