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NSIB Partners with US Agency to Probe Helicopter Crash – Wigwe

NSIB Partners with US Agency to Probe Helicopter Crash - Wigwe
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The Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) has announced its collaboration with the United States National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to conduct a thorough investigation into the helicopter crash that tragically took the life of Dr. Herbert Wigwe and five others.

Mrs. Bimbo Oladeji, the Director of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, shared this information in a statement on Monday.

Dr. Herbert Wigwe, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings, along with his wife, son, and other individuals, were on board the ill-fated Airbus Helicopter EC130B4 when the accident occurred. The crash took place near Interstate 15 in Halloran Springs, California, at approximately 10:08 pm on Friday, February 9. The NTSB confirmed the accident through a post on X.

The NTSB quickly dispatched its investigative team, known as the “Go Team,” to examine the details of the incident.

The ill-fated helicopter, operated by Orbic Air, LLC as a Part 135 chartered flight, took off from Palm Springs, California, at 8:45 p.m. PST, with its destination set for Boulder City, Nevada. Michael Graham, a board member of the National Transportation Safety Board, provided this information during a news conference on Saturday.

Regrettably, the US authorities have confirmed that all individuals on board the aircraft lost their lives in the crash. The victims include two crew members, consisting of a pilot in command and a “safety pilot,” as well as four passengers: Dr. Herbert Wigwe, his wife, his son, and Mr. Abimbola Ogunbanjo, the former Group Chairman of the Nigerian Exchange Group Plc (NGX Group).

Following the accident, Captain Alex Badeh, the Director-General of NSIB, established contact with the NTSB as outlined in Chapter 5, subsection 27 of ICAO’s Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation-Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation. This provision grants a State (nation) with a specific interest in an accident involving its citizens the right to appoint an expert who can actively participate in the investigation.

According to Chapter 5, subsection 27 of ICAO’s Annex 13, the entitled State expert is permitted to visit the accident scene, access relevant information approved for public release by the investigating state, receive updates on the investigation’s progress, and obtain a copy of the final report.

The statement from NSIB emphasized that Nigeria, through the NSIB, has been granted the prerogative, as per ICAO’s Annex 13, to appoint an expert who will actively engage in the investigation process.

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