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Death toll for Americans killed in Nigeria plane crash now 9

Sunday Alamba / AP

Rescue workers watch as a crane lifts the wreckage of Sunday's plane crash in Lagos, Nigeria.

 

The death toll for Americans killed when a plane crashed in Nigeria Sunday has risen to nine from seven, the U.S. State Department said Wednesday.

The Dana Air plane that crashed in Lagos, killing all 153 people on board, is Nigeria's worst airline disaster in two decades.


After Nigeria plane crash, families mourn; government suspends airline

The McDonnell Douglas MD-83, operated by privately owned domestic airline Dana Air, smashed into an apartment block in a densely populated suburb on Sunday afternoon, killing everyone on board and probably six people on the ground.

NBC's Rohit Kachroo reports on the crash.

"From the record of communication that we have, the captain of the aircraft called the traffic control in Lagos declaring a mayday and reported dual engine failure," Aviation Minister Stella Oduah told journalists at the presidential villa. "It was shortly after the captain's distress call that the aircraft could no longer be seen in the radar and communication was lost."

The government has set up panels to review the safety of all airlines in the country and suspended Dana Air's air license.

Dana Air has said there was nothing wrong with the aircraft.

Engine problems eyed after passenger jet crashes in Nigeria suburb

"Dana Air takes safety very seriously and our aircraft are sound," Dana Director Francis Ogboro told a news conference, repeating the company's position that there was no mechanical fault with the plane before it went down.

Workers have finished recovering bodies from the rubble, Lagos state attorney general Ade Ipaye said. In total, 149 bodies and a number of body parts were found. Around two-thirds of the remains could not be identified and were to undergo identification at a forensics laboratory.

Reuters and NBC News contributed to this report.

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