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posted: 6/3/2012 12:19 PM

Passenger plane crashes in Nigeria's largest city

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By Jon Gambrell

Associated Press

LAGOS, Nigeria -- A passenger plane crashed into a two-story building in Nigeria's largest city of Lagos on Sunday, officials said.

Casualty figures were not yet known, said Lagos state emergency manager Femi Oke-Osanyinpolu.

The Dana Air flight was taking passengers from Lagos to Abuja, said Harold Denuren, head of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.

Federal emergency management confirmed the crash in a neighborhood just outside the airport and said that its emergency personnel were on their way to the scene.

The weather in Lagos on Sunday was clear and sunny.

Lagos' international airport is a major hub for West Africa and saw 2.3 million passengers pass through it in 2009, according to the most recent statistics provided by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria.

In August 2010, the U.S. announced it had given Nigeria the FAA's Category 1 status, its top safety rating that allows the nation's domestic carriers to fly directly to the U.S.

The Nigerian government said it also now has full radar coverage of the entire nation. However, in a nation where the state-run electricity company is in tatters, state power and diesel generators sometimes both fail at airports, making radar screens go blank.

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