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Cablegate: Sosoliso Airplane Crash/Enugu Bus Accident

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 LAGOS 001876

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED - HANDLE ACCORDINGLY

STATE PASS FAA FOR ACONLEY,
TRANSPORTATION FOR FAA; DAKAR PLEASE PASS TO FAA REP ED
JONES; ROME PLEASE PASS TO TSA REP JOHN HALINSKI
FOR DS/IP/AF

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAIR CASC ASEC AMGT NI PREL
SUBJECT: SOSOLISO AIRPLANE CRASH/ENUGU BUS ACCIDENT

REF: A. LAGOS 1869
B. ABUJA 2387

-------------------------------------
Sosoliso Airplane Crash Status Report
-------------------------------------

1. (SBU) Consular Response Team (CRT) reported Doctor's
Without Borders (DWB) collected Amcit Hawa Kamara's remains
and are in contact with Ms. Kamara's parents to arrange for
transport of her remains and personal effects to Monrovia,
Liberia (Ms. Kamara was a DWB employee). Post has tried to
reach the person Ms. Kamara designated as her emergency
contact in the United States, but have not received a
response. Sosoliso Airlines has secured her personal effects,
but has yet to release them to CRT or DWB.

2. (SBU) A dual national (U.S. and Nigerian) student at the
Jesuit school, Richard Udeozor, was on board the flight and
authorities have informed us that his parents have collected
his remains. Post has attempted to telephone Mr. Udeozor's
parents, but have not yet received a response. Mission
continues to investigate the possibility of other Amcits on
board the plane. CRT and Nigerian Red Cross report that only
two survivors from the air crash are still alive.

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3. (SBU) CRT visited 5 or 6 morgues yesterday and reported
most of the bodies have been collected by relatives. Both the
CRT and Accidents Investigation and Prevention Bureau (AIPB)
Director Angus Ozoka reported the crash site is secured, and
all baggage accounted for.

4. (SBU) AIPB Director Ozoka said the flight data recorders
were sent to the United Kingdom last night, December 11, for
analysis. During a press conference at Port Harcourt today,
Ozoka stated the AIPB hoped to have a preliminary indication
of the cause of the crash by week's end.

5. (SBU) National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) Rep
Dennis Jones reported the Sosoliso investigation was going
well. Boeing personnel previously involved in investigating
the October Bellview crash would arrive in Lagos tonight and
join him in investigating both mishaps.

6. (U) Nigerian press reported several prominent Nigerians
were on board the flight including: Uche Okoro, President
Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria
(PENGASSAN); Fountain of Life Church Pastor Bimbo Odukoya;
and the Rivers State Commissioner for Education, Professor
Thompson Okugagu. All were killed.

--------------------------------
Enugu Bus Accident Status Report
--------------------------------

7. (SBU) The CRT also visited SOS Hospital in Port Harcourt
on December 12 to assist Amcit survivors of a December 11 bus
crash in Enugu. Of the 17 people on the bus at the time of
the accident, 8 died, including one Amcit, Breanna Michelle
Esswein.

8. (SBU) Youth With A Mission (YWAM) has notified Ms.
Esswein's parents of her death. Consulate Lagos is making
arrangements with YWAM to facilitate transportation of Ms.
Esswein's remains and personal effects.

9. (SBU) Two other Amcit members of YWAM, Erin Cothran and
Rebecca Carter, were injured in the crash, and were taken to
SOS Hospital. Hospital staff reported Ms. Cothran received a
head laceration and a fracture to her left leg, which was
also hemorrhaging. Ms. Cothran will be evacuated from Port
Harcourt to Johannesburg via an SOS medical plane. Post has
alerted medical staff at ConGen Johannesburg. Ms. Carter's
injuries served much less severe, according to SOS doctors.
Ms. Carter will fly to Accra and will be treated at Korle Blu
Hospital. We have contacted Embassy Accra medical staff
regarding her arrival.

10. (SBU) Government of Nigeria authorities granted special
permission for these medical flights to use either Port
Harcourt International Airport or a nearby military facility.
11. (U) This cable has been cleared by Embassy Abuja DCM Tom
Furey.
BROWNE

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