Wigwe: US Authorities Affirms Chopper Caught Fire After Crash

Says six persons, including two crew members, passed on in the accident.
Michael E. Graham
Michael E. GrahamGoogle

Michael E. Graham, board member of the United States National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), disclosed that the helicopter in which the CEO of Access Bank Holdings, Herbert Onyewumbu Wigwe was traveling caught fire after it crash-landed.

Wigwe was traveling with his wife, Doreen, son, Chizi, and Bimbo Ogunbanjo, a former chairman of the NGX, from Palm Springs Airport to Boulder City, Nevada when the tragic accident occurred.

According to Graham, about 90 minutes after the charter flight took off, “the helicopter impacted the terrain south of I-15 near Halloran Springs, California,” about 75 miles (120 kilometers) northeast of the city of Barstow.

He affirmed that six persons, including two crew members, passed on in the crash.

The NTSB board member said at a press conference, “As far as we know, there was fire when the aircraft did contact the terrain. 

 Similarly, Graham noted that witnesses said there “was rain with a wintry mix” when the crash occurred.

He however warned that investigators were still working on determining the exact weather at the time of the accident.

Graham affirmed that, “This is the beginning of a long process. And they will not jump to any conclusions.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reported on its website that “A Eurocopter EC 130 helicopter crashed near Nipton, California, around 10 pm local time on Friday, Feb. 9. Six people were on board without naming the victims.”

The FAA disclosed that there would be an investigation while Graham noted that it could take up to 24 months to produce a final report concerning the incident.

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