Majority Leader, CPP Flagbearer & Others Escape Death By A Whisker
5/22/2012 7:01:11 PM -
Tragedy nearly struck both the country's aviation industry and political scene, when an Antrak Air flight with some 40 passengers on board including flagbearer of the Convention People's Party (CPP) and the Majority Leader, Hon Cletus Avoka, nearly caught fire at the Tamale airport on Tuesday morning.
Hon Cletus Avoka, who confirmed the incident to peacefmonline a short while ago, said the near-catastrophe was averted after the passengers and crew members were swiftly evacuated.
Kwabena Ntow of Filla FM in Tamale, an affiliate station of Peace FM , who arrived at the scene later, reports that the aircraft was beginning to taxi for take-off some few minutes after seven when passengers smelt the burning of plastic from the cabin.
According to him, citing eye-witnesses report, within the twinkle of an eye, thick smoke billowed out of the cabin, but the timely arrival of the aviation safety personnel and fire tender staff at the airport ensured that everything was brought under control.
The Antrak Air flight with the inscription 9G-AAB was therefore grounded and the passengers were evacuated.
As a result of the incident, the Majority Leader, who was expected to address a press conference this morning, before today's proceedings in Parliament commence, had to shelve it. He, together with other passengers, later boarded a Starbow flight for the trip to Accra.
Recounting how the near-catastrophe occurred, Hon Cletus Avoka who was full of thanks to Allah, told peacefmonline that the aircraft was about to taxi for take-off when they realized the engine had ceased.
'The Pilot then explained to us (passengers) that the engine's motor had developed a fault and that is why we are groundedwe are asked to disembark and shortly afterwards we saw smoke billowing from the planeI was in the plane with Dr Sakara, the CPP flagbearer,my brother, we are all grateful to Allah for sparing our lives,' he said.