Dana Air Crash Families Deserve Answers After Release Of Latest Interim Statement That Lacks Any Detail Or Analysis

Aviation Lawyers Call For Full Accident Report Without Further Delay


Specialist aviation lawyers, who represent the families of passengers killed when a Dana Air-operated aircraft crashed in Lagos two years ago killing more than 150 passengers and crew, have described an interim statement on the investigation as “simply lacking in any detail or analysis” and reiterated calls for the long wait for answers to come to an end.

The Aviation Attorney Group led by British law firm Irwin Mitchell represents 27 families who lost loved ones when the McDonnell Douglas MD-83 aircraft came down during its final approach to Lagos Airport on June 3rd 2012.

British, American, French and Nigerian citizens were killed in the crash, but two years on from the tragedy, no final report into the incident has yet been released.

In a new interim statement, the Nigerian Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) merely states that reviews of the engine teardown remain ongoing and that experts are examining the tragedy in line with a similar incident involving a Dana Air flight in October 2013.

The update has come after the Aviation Attorney Group filed court proceedings to formally secure their clients’ legal rights, as the limitation period for bringing claims against the airline in relation to the crash in both the USA and Nigeria expired on the 2nd anniversary.

Former RAF Boeing pilot Jim Morris is a Partner in Irwin Mitchell’s specialist Aviation Law team.

Expert Opinion
Two years have passed since our clients lost their loved ones in this tragedy, yet they remain no closer to gaining answers as to what caused the crash and what can be done to prevent others from enduring the same ordeals they are continuing to suffer.

"This latest, very brief, interim statement on the progress of investigations contains no detail, analysis or answers. As such, like the previous preliminary reports, it provides little comfort or useful information to the families of those who died. Furthermore, it provides no indication of when the final accident report will be complete.

"Given that two years have passed this is very disappointing, especially as the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) recommended practice for final accident reports is that they should be released in the shortest possible time, and if possible, within 12 months. If a report cannot be released within 12 months, ICAO goes on to state that there should be an interim report on each anniversary of the occurrence. Although the Nigerian authorities have released an interim report on each anniversary, the lack of detail contained despite two years of accident investigations is very concerning and unhelpful to both the grieving families and the aviation industry.

"Once again, we would urge authorities in Nigeria to work quickly and thoroughly to provide answers regarding the crash and publish a comprehensive final accident report as soon as possible. This will enable the families to understand what happened and to at least begin to move on with their lives. This final accident report will also be absolutely vital to ensure that lessons can be learned so that flight safety can be improved in Nigeria.

"Although there has been a lack of official information as to the causes of the crash, we have protected the rights of the families that we represent by filing their cases in Nigeria and the USA against Dana Air and the Estate of the pilot flying the aircraft."
Jim Morris, Partner

In addition to the formal litigation to hold Dana Air to account, Irwin Mitchell and the Aviation Attorney Group are also supporting the Safer Skies Initiative launched by the Nigerian Leadership Initiative, which has been created to promote flight safety in the country.

Irwin Mitchell Aviation Law has over four decades of experience in handling aviation claims for passengers and crew involved in aviation accidents around the world. For more information visit our Air Accident Claims Page or our Dana Air Accident page for more information.