2 aircrafts crash in Abuja during rehearsal for 58th Independence Day celebrations

The accident happened in Abuja on Friday during rehearsals for Monday's celebrations.

The accident happened in the Katampe areaAbuja on Friday, September 28, 2018.

"I wish confirm an air incident involving 2 Nigerian Air Force aircraft taking part in the rehearsals for the 58th Independence Day Celebrations. Details will be communicated later," read a brief statement by NAF's Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola.

Daramola had announced on September 17 that NAF would be carrying out aerial display exercises to prepare for the country's 58th anniversary of independence. He had urged Abuja residents to not panic about the displays scheduled to end on October 2.

UPDATE - One pilot dies

Air Commodore Daramola has confirmed that one of the pilots involved in the crash has died.

"It is with a heavy heart that I regretfully announce that one of the pilots who successfully ejected from one of the F-7Ni aircraft that crashed earlier today has passed on. May his soul RIP. Additional details on the incident will be communicated later," the statement read.

The pilot, identified as Squadron Leader Bello Mohamed Baba-Ari, died due to complications from injuries sustained upon impact on the ground after he ejected.

Daramola described Baba-Ari as a distinguished pilot, dedicated patriot and irrefutable hero of the war on terror in the northeast.

Two other officers involved in the crash survived after also ejecting before impact and were attended to by medical personnel at the scene of the crash.

The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, disclosed in a statement that Force will "painstakingly investigate the cause of the accident in order to avoid a reoccurrence."

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