The burial ceremony of seven Air Force officers who lost their lives in the Abuja plane crash on Sunday is held at the National Military Cemetery in Abuja today.

The officers were crew members of the ill-fated Beechcraft King Air 350 that crashed at Bassa village, near the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.

A statement by the Director of Public Relations and Information of the Nigeria Air Force, Air Vice Marshal Ibikunle Daramola says the aircraft reported engine failure shortly after take-off from Abuja and were on their way back to base when the crash occurred.

They include; Flight Lieutenant Haruna Gadzama (Captain), Flight Lieutenant Henry Piyo (Co-pilot), Flying Officer Micheal Okpara (Airborne Tactical Observation System specialist) and Warrant Officer Bassey Etim (ATOS specialist).

Others were Flight Sergeant Olasunkanmi Olawunmi (ATOS specialist), Sergeant Ugochukwu Oluka (ATOS specialist) and Aircraftman Adewale Johnson (Onboard Technician).

The Victims of the aircraft crash (From L to R) Flight Lieutenant Haruna Gadzama (Captain), Flight Lieutenant Henry Piyo (Co-pilot), Flying Officer Micheal Okpara (Airborne Tactical Observation System specialist), Warrant Officer Bassey Etim (ATOS specialist), Flight Sergeant Olasunkanmi Olawunmi (ATOS specialist), Sergeant Ugochukwu Oluka (ATOS specialist) and Aircraftman Adewale Johnson (Onboard Technician).

The event which was held on Thursday at the National Military Cemetery in Abuja saw an outpour of emotion from both the young and old, as the bodies of the late officers were lowered into the graves amidst tears and wailing.

Speaking while the crew was being laid to rest, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice-Marshal Oladayo Amao asked officers and men of the Nigerian Air Force to remain committed to the fight against terrorism in a bid to ensure that the sacrifices of their comrades will not be in vain.

The relatives of the late officers were present at the cemetery where, not an eye is left dry as the nation mourned the death of some of its finest soldiers.

Also present at the ceremony were the Minister of Defence, Bashir Magashi and other service chiefs led by the Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Lucky Irabor.

Net/Babatunde Tiamiyu

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