CAPTION: A commercial airliner crashed into a densely populated neighbourhood in Nigeria's largest city Lagos on Sunday, killing all 153 people on board and others on the ground in the worst air disaster in nearly two decades for the troubled nation.( 3 June 2012)
A commercial airliner crashed into a densely populated neighbourhood in Nigeria's largest city Lagos on Sunday, killing all 153 people on board and others on the ground in the worst air disaster in nearly two decades for the troubled nation.
The cause of the Dana Air crash remained unknown on Sunday night, as firefighters and police struggled to put out the flames around the wreckage of the Boeing MD83 aircraft.
Authorities could not control the crowd of thousands gathered around to see the crash site, with some crawling over the
plane's broken wings and standing on a still-smouldering landing gear.
The plane crashed through a furniture shop and then into residential buildings next to a workshop in a densely packed neighbourhood of the city.
The plane did not to appear to have nose-dived into a building, but seemed to have landed on its belly.
The nose of the plane was embedded into the three-story apartment building, damaging only one part of the structure. Fire still smouldered everywhere as several thousand people looked on.
Two fire trucks and about 50 rescue personnel were at the site after the plane went down. Some of those gathered around the site helped firefighters bring in the water hoses from their trucks.
The Nigerian Red Cross also arrived, as well as Nigeria's air crash safety investigators.
While local residents helped carry fire hoses to the crash site, the major challenges of life in oil-rich Nigeria quickly became apparent as there wasn't any water to put out the flames more than three hours later.
Some young men carried plastic buckets of water to the fire, trying to douse small portions. Fire trucks, from the very few that are stationed in Lagos state with a population of 17.5 (m) million, couldn't carry enough water.
Officials commandeered water trucks from nearby construction sites, but they became stuck on the narrow, crowded roads, unable to reach the crash site.
The dead included at least four Chinese citizens, the official Chinese news agency Xinhua reported late Sunday, citing Chinese diplomats in Nigeria. Officials at the Chinese embassy in Nigeria could not be reached for comment by the AP.
Nigeria, home to more than 160 (m) million people, suffers from endemic government corruption and mismanagement.
The nation also has a history of major aviation disasters, though in recent years there hasn't been a crash.