Following the involvement of the CEO of one of Nigeria’s largest banks, Herbert Wigwe, along with his wife and son in a helicopter crash last Friday near Interstate 15 in Southern California’s Mojave Desert, Access Bank has confirmed that it lack specific information.
Recall that Wigwe, chief executive of the bank, was among the six people on board when the aircraft went down shortly after 10 p.m.
According to reports, all six people were killed, including two pilots and Bamofin Abimbola Ogunbanjo, former chair of NGX Group, the Nigerian stock exchange.
“We have received numerous inquiries concerning an airplane crash in the USA.
“Presently, we lack specific information; however, we are actively collaborating with US authorities who will furnish updates.
“Your understanding and support are valued, and we commit to keeping you informed promptly as we receive updates on the situation,” the statement from the bank read.
The deaths of Wigwe, his family and Ogunbanjo were confirmed Saturday by Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a former Nigerian finance minister who is now the director-general of the World Trade Organization.
The crash happened south of I-15 near Halloran Springs Road, about 75 miles northeast of Barstow, according to Michael Graham of the National Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating the crash.
The Airbus Eurocopter EC130 helicopter had taken off from Palm Springs at 8:45 p.m. en route to Boulder City, Nevada, according to Graham. The French-made helicopter was chartered from Orbit Air, LLC in Burbank, he said.
“This is the beginning of a long process,” Graham said of the federal investigation. “Investigators will start at the crash scene “gathering perishable evidence,” and the probe will likely take 12–24 months to complete.”
Graham said he did not have information about the two crew members, a pilot and a safety pilot. The aircraft did not have a cockpit voice recorder or a flight data recorder and was not required to have them, he added.
Also read: Stellar Beverage boss,Gandhi Anandan, claims alcohol in small sachets better than bottles
Halloran Springs Road crosses over Interstate 15 in an area known to travelers for an abandoned gas station with a sign declaring “Lo Gas” and “Eat.” It’s located in a remote area of the Mojave Desert, with an elevation of nearly 3,000 feet. Logs from the California Highway Patrol show there was rain and snow in the area at about the time of the crash.
It was a charter flight operated by Orbic Air LLC. Several people traveling on I-15 witnessed the crash and called 911, Graham said, and he urged them to contact the NTSB with more details, including photos and videos.
The crash comes just three days after a U.S. Marine Corps helicopter crashed in the mountains outside San Diego on Tuesday during historic downpours. Fire marines were killed.