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Nigerian Crash Pilot Was American

10 dead confirmed on ground, but many more expected
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 4, 2012 4:49 AM CDT
Updated Jun 4, 2012 7:55 AM CDT

(Newser) – The pilot of yesterday's tragic plane crash in Lagos that killed at least 163 people was American, reports CNN. The pilot radioed minutes before crashing that the plane was experiencing engine trouble. Dana Air has released no official information about the pilot yet, but a spokesman said that the flight's co-pilot was from India, and the flight engineer was Indonesian. The airplane was 22 years old, purchased from Alaska Airlines, and it had just passed a safety inspection three days before the crash.

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The death toll is expected to climb as emergency crews comb through the rubble of the building in the busy neighborhood where the plane went down. Eyewitness reports say the plane seemed to be coming in high with its nose raised, then slammed into the ground tail first. The plane crashed 11 miles from the Lagos airport. "We were trying to see if we could help," said a man who lived close to the crash site. "It was so hot we couldn't get close because of the fire." (Read more Nigeria stories.)

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