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Dana Air suspends flights as MD-83 crash investigation begins

Dana Air suspended flights today and reportedly closed an office in Abuja as Nigerian officials begin to investigate the cause of a McDonnell Douglas MD-83 crash in Lagos on 3 June.

Jacky Hathiramani, chief executive of Dana Air, said the airline is "deeply saddened" by the crash that killed 146 passengers on seven crew members aboard the twinjet.

"We are doing everything we can to assist them in this extremely difficult time," Hathiramani says.

Meanwhile, the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is assisting an investigation already underway by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

The MD-83 was inbound from Abuja to Lagos at 15:43 when it crashed in the crowded Iju Ishaga neighbourhood immediately north of Murtala Muhammed International Airport, the NCAA says.

The aircraft reportedly struck power lines and trees before striking a building.

The incident is already raising questions about the aircraft's safety history

The nearly 22-year-old MD-83 was involved in a minor safety incident in August 2006, when Alaska Airlines operated the twinjet. The NTSB concluded that normal vibration caused a wire bracket to wear away the insulation of a wire bundle, causing an electric arc that blew smoke into the passenger cabin.

After being acquired by then-start-up Dana Air in January 2009, Nigerian reports indicate the same aircraft sustained a bird strike incident in 2010.

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