The Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) is partnering with the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to probe the helicopter crash that claimed the lives of Herbert Wigwe, the Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) of Access Holdings Plc, and five others.
The passengers included the GCEO’s wife, son, and Abimbola Ogunbanjo, the former Group Chairman of Nigerian Exchange Group Plc (NGX Group). All six individuals on board have been confirmed dead.
NSIB’s statement on Monday, as conveyed by Bimbo Oladeji, NSIB’s Director of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, highlighted the collaboration’s alignment with international aviation protocols under ICAO Annex 13.
Regrettably, the United States authorities have now confirmed that everyone onboard the aircraft lost their lives in the crash,” the director said.
“The deceased are two crew members comprising a pilot in command and a “safety pilot” and four passengers namely Dr Herbert Wigwe, his wife, son, and Mr Abimbola Ogunbanjo, former Group Chairman of the Nigerian Exchange Group Plc, (NGX Group).
“In the aftermath of the accident, the Director-General, NSIB, Captain Alex Badeh, established contact with NTSB, in accordance with Chapter 5 subsection 27 of ICAO’s Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation-Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation, which grants a State (nation) special interest in an accident involving its citizens.
“This participation ensures access to relevant information and facilitates cooperation with the investigating authorities, towards ensuring the investigation reaches a conclusive outcome.
“The ongoing discussion between the NSIB and NTSB has highlighted the diligent investigation efforts of the NTSB.
“NTSB investigators were present at the crash scene in Halloran Springs, California, on Saturday to collect evidence and conduct initial on-scene documentation.
“The documentation process included aerial mapping of the wreckage with a drone, and site measurements.
“Correspondence between the NSIB and NTSB further revealed that the NTSB investigation into the crash is being led by Aaron Sauer as the investigator in charge, supported by Mark Ward as the deputy investigator in charge.
“Several other NTSB investigators will also be examining various aspects of the accident, including airworthiness and maintenance structures, operations, meteorology and air traffic control.”
Oladeji said the NTSB is already moving the wreckage to a secure location for in-depth examination and analysis.