A Nigerian Air Force Beechcraft B300 King Air 350i has crashed near Kaduna Airport (KAD/DNKA). All eight occupants were killed including Nigeria’s army chief, Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru.
The air force said in a statement that its plane crashed near Kaduna airport and that it was investigating the cause.
The presidency said the army general and other military officers died in the crash on Friday.
President Muhammadu Buhari, in a presidency statement, described the crash as a “mortal blow … at a time our armed forces are poised to end the security challenges facing the country.”
The crash occurred three months after a small Nigerian air force passenger plane went down just outside Abuja airport following alleged engine failure, killing all seven people on board. read more
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, has had poor air safety record in the past, although it has improved in recent years.
Buhari appointed Attahiru alongside other military chiefs in January after years of mounting criticism over spreading violence by Islamist insurgents and armed gangs.
Boko Haram and its offshoot, Islamic State West Africa Province, have waged a decade-long insurgency estimated to have displaced about 2 million people and killed more than 30,000. They want to create states based on their extreme interpretation of Islamic sharia law.