The delay in the official release of the names contained in the manifest of the ill-fated Bristow helicopter that crashed into the Lagos lagoon on Wednesday has been attributed to the need to get
consent of the deceased families.
A management source from the Bristow Helicopters Nigeria Limited, owners of the crashed helicopter, told the News Agency of Nigeria on the
condition of anonymity on Saturday in Lagos, that the airline was still contacting the victims’ families.
He said that their client, SEDCO Oil Platform Offshore, was still contacting the victims’ families and would approve the release of the victims’ names in a few days.
“We cannot release the victims’ names without the consent of our client, SEDCO Oil, which is still in regular contact with families of the victims,” he said.
According to him, the withholding of the names was in accordance with International Civil Aviation Organisation Annex 13.
He said also that the airline and the accident investigators lack the capacity to disclose the names on the manifest.
The source, however, called on the public to exercise a little patience with the airline and appropriate authorities in releasing the manifest.
The source said: “Even though we have submitted the manifest to the Accident Investigation Bureau, we will still have to give them the marching order to release it with the consent of the victims’ families.
“You and I know that Bristow would have been ordered to release the manifest because of the investigation the bureau is carrying out and it is
something they ought to have because of the nature of the job they are doing at the moment.”
Dr. Felix Abali, the AIB Commissioner,vhad said on Friday that the bureau did not have the power to make the victims’ names public until the airline contacted the victims’ families.
Abali said he was in touch with the airline and would make the names public immediately he received the nod from the airline.
He said aviation protocol must be observed before the manifest would be released.
He said: “The families must be briefed first.
“It is the responsibility of the airlines to release the manifest.
“They have to contact the families first before they release it to the public.”
NAN recalls that the Sikosky 76 helicopter, marked 5N-BGD, crashed into the Lagos lagoon as it approached Murtala Muhammed Airport in Ikeja.
Six of the 12 passengers on board in the helicopter died while six others were rescued and taken to hospital.