By Chinedu Eze
A Delta Air Lines Flight DL055, which departed the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos at about 11:05 pm on Tuesday made an air return to Lagos barely 31 minutes into the 11-hour flight, following a breakdown of one of the two engines mid air.
No fewer than five of the over 100 passengers on-board the aircraft sustained different minor injuries due to their attempts to escape from the Airbus A330-200 with registration number, N858NW when they learnt that one of the engines had caught fire mid air.
It was gathered that the injured passengers and crewmembers were rushed to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, Air Force Base Clinic and FAAN Medical Centre for speedy medical attention while the aircraft blocked access to the runway for about an hour before being moved back to allow departure and landing of other aircraft.
A report received from the Consumer Protection Directorate (CPD) of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) indicated that the flight departed at 22:45, but made an emergency landing at 23:16, which was 31 minutes after departure.
The report said that the pilot-in-command (PIC) announced the evacuation of all the passengers on board within 90 seconds, after contacting the control towers because the left engine of the aircraft caught fire mid-air in-flight.