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Ghosts Of Nigerian Air Crash Haunt Village


By James Donahue

November 2005


Residents of a small village of Lissa, Nigeria, say they are terrified by the ghosts of the 117 people who perished in a fiery crash of a commercial jet liner near their town on Oct. 22.


Not only are the villagers seeing ghosts, they say they are hearing their cries in the night and their lives are disrupted because the aircraft and all of the bodies of the people in it disintegrated on impact, polluting the nearby river where the people get their drinking water, and closing the only road to the fields where they get their food.


There is an indication that the disaster also cut off electric power to the village, which remains shut off as authorities comb the crash site, collecting bodies, debris and information as to the cause of the accident.


Consequently, the people of Lissa complain that they have no potable drinking water and are starving for lack of food.


“It is no longer the issue of not having potable water for domestic use, no electricity, no good roads and others, but we now live in fear when it gets dark because the spirits of the victims in the place crash keep roaming the whole village,” one town spokesman was quoted as saying.


Because of the stories many villagers no longer sleep in their homes, the report said. They seek refuge at night in the homes of relatives in neighboring villages.


In the meantime, the search for the decomposing body parts by authorities goes on. The Red Cross has prohibited people from drinking from the Osun River due to contamination, so they are walking almost two kilometers to get water from another source.


The town also is being fumigated in an effort to prevent sickness, especially cholera, reports say.


The problems in the village were compounded when the local Chief, Sadiku Odugbemi, was arrested on rumors that he led villagers in the looting of the bodies at the crash site. Odugberni has since exonerated himself and has been released on bail. He claims the charges are baseless and unfounded.


But now they are seeing strangers walking the streets of the town in the night, and hearing their cries, and it has the people terrified.


The Bellview Airlines flight 210 crashed shortly after taking off from Lagos on a flight to the Nigerian capital Abuja, during a storm. The pilot had time to send a distress signal before the plane disappeared.


The wreckage was found in a swamp near Lissa in Ogun state, about 30 miles from Lagos. The site was a grisly scene of mangled bodies, twisted chunks of metal and ripped luggage.


Authorities said the plane crashed and burst into flames. There were no survivors.



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