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Nigerian Plane With 114 Aboard Crashes | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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LAGOS, Nigeria, AP -A passenger plane carrying 114 people crashed after takeoff from Nigeria”s biggest city, officials said Sunday. There was no immediate word on survivors.

Lagos police Spokesman Bode Ojajuni said search teams located the downed Bellview Airlines jet in Oyo State, 120 miles north of Lagos, from where the plane departed Saturday evening on an internal flight to the capital Abuja.

&#34Our men have spotted the wreckage of the aircraft,&#34 said Ojajuni.

The Boeing 737 aircraft, operated by Nigerian-run Bellview, lost contact with the control tower five minutes after taking off from the international airport in Lagos at 8:45 p.m. (3:45 p.m. EDT) Saturday, said Jide Ibinola, a spokesman for Nigeria”s Federal Airport Authority.

Pilots issued a distress call before the plane disappeared from radar about 15 miles south of Lagos over the Atlantic Ocean, state television reported. Most aircraft take off from Lagos, Nigeria”s biggest city, in the direction of the Atlantic, and turn back toward the coast.

At least 108 passengers and six crew members were aboard, Ibinola said. Their nationalities were not immediately known.

There was no indication the crash was terrorism-related.

Bellview, one of about a dozen local airlines plying Nigeria”s skies, is a privately owned Nigerian company that operates a fleet of mostly Boeing 737s on internal routes and throughout West Africa. Bellview first began flying about 10 years ago and has not suffered a crash before.