Annals of African Medicine
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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 51-54

Aero-disaster in Port Harcourt, Nigeria: A case study

1 Department of Anatomical Pathology, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, PMB 6173, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
2 Braithwaite Memorial Hospital, Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
D Seleye-Fubara
Departments of Anatomical Pathology, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, PMB 6173, Port Harcourt
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1596-3519.76588

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Background : Aero-disaster in Nigeria is posing a serious problem to government, the public and relatives of victims, as many lives are lost in a single event. Materials and Methods : A case study based on an incident at an international airport in Nigeria on December 10, 2005. Detailed autopsy was performed on 97 fully identified bodies out of the 106 victims. Variables considered include ages, sex, pattern of injuries and death as well as problems associated with identification of bodies. Results : A total of 97 (91.5%) out of the 106 deaths recorded were autopsied. Nine (8.5%) bodies were beyond identification, and hence autopsy could not be properly done on them. Fifty-nine (60.8%) were males and 38 (39.2%) were females, giving a ratio of 1.4:1. Sixty-one (62.9%) were children and adolescents below the age of 20 years. Severe burns 27 (27.8%), multiple injuries with burns 21 (21.6%), inhalation of fumes 20 (20.6%), multiple injuries only 16 (16.5%), severe head injury alone 11 (11.3%) and ruptured viscous 2 (2.1%) were the causes of death at autopsy in that order of frequency. Conclusion : Aero-disaster, though rare in Port Harcourt, is posing a serious problem in Nigeria in recent times. Various agencies should be established to adequately control mass disasters in Nigeria. Adequate maintenance of aircraft and strict observation and enforcement of aviation laws may drastically reduce the frequency of accidents and subsequent deaths.

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