Nigeria crash death toll at 157

By Drum Digital
05 June 2012

Nigerian rescuers have confirmed the first deaths on the ground caused by a devastating plane crash in the country's largest city, raising the toll to 157, an official said on Tuesday.

The death toll rose after rescuers confirmed the deaths of at least four people from a residential building in the Lagos neighbourhood where the Dan Air MD83 crashed on Sunday afternoon, in addition to the 153 crew and passengers, the official said.

"A couple died while their children survived, then a woman and her daughter," the official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to provide figures.

The number of deaths could rise further as searches continue at the site near the airport, particularly amid the ruins of the two-storey residential building.

Rains prevented work from resuming early Tuesday, with fears that the remains of the building could collapse.

The victims include a number of foreigners, including six Chinese, an Indian and an unclear number of Americans. The pilot was an American and the co-pilot was Indian, the country's civil aviation chief has said.

The plane, traveling from the capital Abuja to Lagos, had reported both of its engines having failed before it went down, according to the civil aviation chief.

Rescue officials have said the body of a woman was discovered on Monday clutching her baby.

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