Wreckage Of Missing Nigerian Fighter Jet Found In Bama, Borno
Wreckage of Nigerian Air Force Alpha Jet that went missing last week may have been found in Bama, Borno State, an authoritative military source told newsmen on Sunday.
According to ThisDay, the source said it was found with the body of one of the pilots identified as Flight Lieutenant Chapele Ebiakpo intact.
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He, however, stated body of the second pilot, Flight Lieutenant John Abolarinwa, was still being searched for, explaining that troops on the ground have been asked to intensify their search.
It would be recalled that Nigerian Air Force on March 31 declared the Alpha Jet fighter aircraft, NAF 475, missing, saying a few days later that it might have crashed.
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The terrorist group, Boko Haram, had claimed responsibility for the crash but the military refuted the claim.
ThisDay source on Sunday night said the jet, which took off from Maiduguri Airport, crashed five minutes after take-off at an estimated altitude of 15,000 feet, explaining that at that height no missile by Boko Haram could have hit and brought it down.
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Given what we have seen, the jet could not have been hit by any missile. It must have been caused by a technical fault that would be revealed by ongoing investigations.
The jet, according to Air Force spokesman, Commodore Edward Gabkwet, was on an interdiction mission in support of ground troops as part of the ongoing counterinsurgency operations in the North when it lost contact with the radar.