COMMISSIONER, Accident Investigation Bureau, Nigeria ( AIB-N), Engineer Akin Olateru has said a lot of looting of valuables of crash victims go on in accident sites hence the need to train police on cordonning off crash site so those who shouldn’t get there won’t.
The AIB-N boss made this known yesterday during the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and Accident Investigation Bureau, Nigeria ( AIB-N) Press Briefing on International Day Commemorating Air Crash Victims and their Families held at Sheraton Hotel, Abuja where he said the Bureau was still waiting on the Nigeria police to get back to it on its drafted memorandum.
Although the commissioner was satisfied with how the last helicopter crash in Lagos was handled he recalled that there was a time when even the Black box of an aircraft was stolen never to be found again.
Speaking on challenges of crash site decontamination Olateru said, ” when you look at Nigeria generally, in the past every crash site is a market place, a looting point for looters. People steal from crash sites while others are trying to recover victims or bodies some are looking for victims’ bags looking for money, we have seen it.
“And in one of the crashes, one of the recorders got missing till tomorrow we never found it, this is why when I came on board we wrote to the Nigerian Police to have a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with them and we have trained a lot of policemen on their role Inna crash site because that is their role to ensure a well-cordinated crash site. If you don’t have business getting to that crash site, you don’t get there. That is the role of the police.
“We are trying to instill this programme: Police role in a crash site into the basic police curriculum so even a constable leaving police college understands police role in a crash site.
“We have not succeeded yet, we are still waiting for police to get back to us, they have our craft MOU which contains all these because AIB cannot do it alone, we can’t keep training police, we do not have the resources, so we train the trainers and then the police train the personnel ab initio by incorporating that programme into their courses, ” he said.
” If you look at the last crash we had, that was well managed, I mean the helicopter crash in Lagos, it was well coordinated, nobody tampered with our evidence which is very important to AIB because that is what we need to work with.”