The international wing of Lagos’ Murtala Muhammed International Airport was briefly shut down early Thursday after a mutilated corpse was discovered on Runway 18R of the country’s main airport.
As of press time, the identification of the body had not been determined. It was also unclear if the deceased individual was struck by an aircraft taking off or landing on the runway.
The runway was briefly shut down, according to airport authorities, while a team of officials from the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria and the Nigeria Police Force removed the body off the runway.
International planes were unable to land or take off from the airport’s international terminal during the runway’s temporary closure.
Ethiopian Airlines flight 3907, a Boeing 77F aircraft with the registration number ETAVN, was one of the planes that could not land due to the closure. It was flying from Lome, Togo to Lagos, Nigeria.
Following a brief wait, the airplane was redirected back to Lome.
The body was discovered on Runway 18R during a normal FAAN runway check, according to airport authorities.
Officials claimed to have discovered a body on the runway near the cargo area.
Mrs. Faithful Avokerie Hope-Ivbaz, FAAN’s spokeswoman, could not confirm the occurrence right away since she had not been informed on the situation.
Mr Olayinka Ojelade, the Police Public Relations Officer for the Airport Command, said he had yet to get the required signal on the occurrence.
He promised to contact me. He has not done so as of the time of writing this report. The news was verified by a senior police officer at the MMIA.
He claimed the command was contacted early Thursday morning to remove the body off Runway 18R.
According to him, the police are currently looking into the identify of the deceased individual and how he got into the international airport’s security area.
However, Group Captain John Ojikutu, a former Military Commandant of the MMIA and an aviation security specialist, said there was a need to look into how the unidentified individual got into the sensitive sector of the airport, calling the event as a severe security breach.
He claims that the MMIA’s perimeter fence is not a security barrier, and that this has led to multiple security breaches at the airport.
“The authorities need to investigate how the man got to the airport. Nobody can say much now; but he may have been knocked down by the wingspan or undercarriage of a jumbo jet but it is too early to say anything like that now. But we need to examine the issue of houses that have been built too close to the Lagos airport. The rule says no building should be situated less than six metres to the airport structure or fence. However, we have seen cases of people crossing the runway before.
“The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority and FAAN need to investigate this to ascertain what really happened. They need to find out the flights that landed before that incident. The current airport perimeter fence is not a security fence and we need to do something about it.”