Passengers on a Dana Air flight in Nigeria were horrified when the door dropped off its hinges. Picture: @NaijaFlyingDr
Passengers on a Dana Air flight in Nigeria were horrified when the door dropped off its hinges. Picture: @NaijaFlyingDr

Panic as door falls off plane

AN AIRLINE has blamed a passenger after the door of a packed plane fell off.

The Dana Air flight had only just arrived at its destination and was taxiing on the runway when the emergency exit door came away, causing a "poof-like explosion", one passenger reported.

"The flight was noisy with vibrations from the floor panel. I noticed the emergency door latch was loose and dangling," passenger Dapo Sanwo said, according to the BBC.

"When we landed and the plane was taxiing back to the park point, we heard a poof-like explosion, followed by a surge of breeze and noise. It was terrible.

"The cabin crew tried to say a passenger pulled the hatch which everyone denied. They also tried to get us to stop taking videos or pictures."

The flight had just arrived in Abuja from Lagos, Nigeria, when the door fell off.

Passenger Igah Dagogo told CNN he saw that the door was not properly latched before takeoff.

"I was one foot away from the emergency exit door, so I could see the handle was popping out," Dagogo said.

"We informed one of the air hostesses who insisted that it was locked."

When the door fell, it almost hit a man seated nearby, Mr Dagogo said.

"The white man by the door had to shift because the door would have hit him. When he shifted the door now fell on the floor of the plane," he said.

He added: "I wonder what would have happened if the door fell off midair."

Another passenger, Ola Orekunrin, told CNN she noticed the door had been "unstable" for the whole flight.

But Dana Air denied the door fell off as a result of a mechanical issue, and instead blamed "a passenger".

"We wish to state categorically that this could never have happened without a conscious effort by a passenger to open it," the Nigerian airline said in a statement.

The airline said when the aircraft was airborne, the door could not be "shaking" because it was "fully pressurised".

"A thorough inspection was however carried out on the said aircraft upon landing in Abuja by our engineers and a team from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, and no issue was reported. There was also no threat to safety at any point."

"A thorough investigation of the concerned passenger is ongoing."

Nigeria does not have a strong aviation safety record. In 2012, a Dana Air flight crashed in Lagos, killing all 153 people on board.

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