Monday, 26 August 2013

UPDATE: Teenage Boy Who Hid In Tyre Hole Of Arik Air From Benin To Lagos Thought Plane Was U.S-Bound


Facts have emerged that the teenage stowaway, Daniel Ihekina, who was arrested at the Lagos Airport after flying in the tyre hole of an Arik plane from Benin to Lagos on Saturday morning, thought plane was on its way to the United States. See  STORY here.

The boy was said to have been maltreated by his parents and so, he thought of a way of escaping from his parents.

It has also emerged that the boy’s parents had already departed for Lagos in search of the stowaway boy.


The General Manager, Corporate Communications, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Mr. Yakubu Dati confirmed the development, and said the aviation security personnel of the agency had handed over the young voyager to the men of the SSS for extensive investigation.

Dati said, “The residential address the boy gave to us was traced to a church in Benin by our airport manager and his team. So, there is need to hand over the teenager to the SSS who are experts in such investigations. They will carry out further investigation on the matter.”

However, FAAN has also continued to trade blame with Arik Air over the Benin incident.

The agency, in a statement on Sunday, said it read with “great dismay the statement released by Arik Airlines about the stowaway found on board Arik’s flight 544 from Benin to Lagos on Saturday 24 August, 2013.”

Dati said FAAN was “unfairly indicted” while the airline took no responsibility whatsoever for such a “serious security breach.”

Giving the accounts of its preliminary findings, FAAN said, “Our investigations reveal that a passenger on board the flight called the attention of the cabin crew while the aircraft was waiting to take off at the threshold of the runway, to the effect that they had seen a young boy walk under the aircraft and had not seen him re-appear on the other side.”

“The cabin crew in turn informed the pilots in the cockpit about this. The pilots called the control tower and asked them to request FAAN to do a sweep of the area after their departure, opting to carry on with their flight despite the report.”

“Upon the arrival of the aircraft in Lagos, we were informed that there had been a stowaway found alive alighting from the wheel well of the aircraft. While FAAN takes this security breach extremely seriously, we deem Arik’s attempt at indicting and smearing FAAN as irresponsible. Safety and security breaches occur when all the checks in the system are beaten. Given that security is a responsibility for all players in this industry, a critical last opportunity to detect and prevent this stowaway was offered and had the airline taken the information by passengers as seriously as they should have, this incident would have been avoided.”




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