Africa: 63 passengers escape death at Accra Airport in Ghana as Starbow Airlines’ plane skids Runway

No few than sixty-three passengers aboard Starbow Airlines, a Ghanaian carrier, escaped death as an airplane belonging to the airline skid off the runway at Kotoka International Airport.

According to a press statement by the country’s Civil Aviation Authority, which confirmed the incident, the airline’s aircraft Flight S9 104 was bound for Kumasi when the incident happened Saturday, 25th of November.

The statement stated that: “The aircraft skidded off the runway during its take-off run. The aircraft was carrying 63 passengers and 5 crew. One passenger sustained minor injuries and is currently under observation at the clinic.
“Emergency procedures have since been activated at the airport and investigations to establish the cause of the incident has begun.

It stated that operations at the airport are continuing normally adding that further updates on the incident will be provided as and when they become available.

In a related development, the Public Safety Bureau, Ghana has blamed the Transport Ministry and the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), for the incident at the Kotoka Airport.
According to mobile.ghanaweb.com, the bureau said the two bodies have over the years failed to institute an independent probe into similar incidents in the past.

The crash, which resulted in five minor injuries, occurred after the aircraft skided off the runway during its take-off run.

Some other incidents involving Starbow airlines have been recorded in previous years.

In 2015, passengers on board a Tamale-bound Starbow airline, had the scare of their lives when the aircraft, BAE with registration 9GSBB, crash landed in Tamale although no injuries were recorded.

BPS in a statement sided with this position, saying the Transport Ministry and GCAA’s have since 2012, refused to heed the Bureau’s “good advice to set up an independent investigation” into these incidents.

“Starbow Runway Overrun is bringing our country yet closer to witnessing a national disaster. The ICAO Safety Reports for 2015 and 2016 points in that direction for the Regional Aviation Safety Group – Africa and the Indian Ocean (RASG- AFI) comprising 48 countries including Ghana.”

The BPS believes allowing “GCAA to lead and continually investigate such incidents”, without setting up an independent investigation body can only “save jobs at the authority not lives of passengers.”

“Perhaps, it’s time for the BPS to explore what roles the International Civil Aviation Organization ( ICAO ) and the Federal Aviation Administration ((FAA) can play in getting the State of Ghana to establish such a body as opposed to adhoc investigation committees whose findings and recommendations cannot be assured.”
Possible negligence

There has been a suggestion of negligence on the part of the aircraft’s pilot by William Owuraku Aidoo, a Deputy Minister of Energy who was on board the Starbow plane when it crashed.

He narrated that, the pilot tried to brave a storm that was obviously going to overwhelm the plane.

 

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