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Black Box Recovered in Nigerian Crash; Death Toll Rises to 163

In Lagos, Nigerian authorities have recovered the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from the wreckage of the Dana Air flight that crashed over the weekend. The recorders will aid investigators in determining the cause of Sunday’s deadly crash, which claimed the life of all 153 passengers, and at least 10 people on the ground, according to CNN.

Rescue crews have recovered 153 bodies in the days since the crash, prior to a suspension of recovery efforts due to heavy rain on Tuesday. The plane crashed into a busy Lagos neighborhood on Sunday night, caving in the walls of a two-story residential building.

“The wall of the building, the plane pushed the wall of our building in, and it hit everything,” Kingsley Okeke, a resident of the building, told CNN. “There was fire everywhere.”

Oscar Wason, director of operations for Dana Air, said that as the plane reached its final approach to Murtala Muhammed International Airport the pilot, identified as American Peter Waxtan, declared an emergency. Witnesses said the plane was suffering engine troubles. Waxtan had formerly served as a captain for Spirit Airlines, based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Mike Mahendra, an Indian man, had served as the first officer on the Dana Air flight.

Two other American citizens, have been identified since the crash, but it remains unknown exactly how many were on board. Sisters Jennifer and Josephine Onita of Missouri City, Texas, were returning from a wedding they had attended in Lagos, according to the Houston Chronicle.

The flight had crashed just 11 miles away from the airport runway. The passenger plane was 22-years-old, and had passed inspection just three days prior to the crash. Privately owned Dana Air began business in Lagos in 2008.



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