HomeTop HeadlinesHelicopter Crash in Mojave Desert Claims Six Lives

Helicopter Crash in Mojave Desert Claims Six Lives

- Advertisement -

A helicopter crash in the Mojave Desert in California, late on the night of February 9, 2024, resulted in the fatalities of six individuals.

An Airbus EC-130, operated by Orbic Air, was transporting four passengers and two crew members. Among them were 57-year-old Herbert Wigwe, CEO of Access Bank of Nigeria, his wife, Chizoba, and their son, Chizi.

The helicopter had taken off from Palm Springs, California, and was en route to Boulder City, Nevada. The incident occurred near Interstate 15, approximately 75 miles northeast of Barstow, California, in a remote portion of the desert.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has started a comprehensive investigation into the crash. NTSB member Michael Graham revealed that the incident occurred shortly after 10 p.m. near Halloran Springs, California. Witnesses reported rainy weather at the time of the crash, and the helicopter reportedly burst into flames upon impact.

The elevation of the crash site, around 3,000 feet, has become a significant area of focus for the NTSB’s ongoing investigation.

As part of the investigation process, documentation of the crash site, including the use of drones for aerial mapping, is taking place. The helicopter was found to be lacking both cockpit voice and flight data recorders, components not mandatory for this type of aircraft, but their absence restricts understanding of the crash circumstances.

The death of Herbert Wigwe has had a profound impact on the banking industry and beyond, as he was instrumental in expanding Access Bank’s presence across Africa. Wigwe, known for his visionary leadership and commitment to social impact, was a key figure in enhancing Nigeria’s standing in global financial services.

The crash also took the lives of former Nigeria Stock Exchange Group chairman Abimbola Ogunbanjo, 61, as well as both pilots. Condolences have been expressed globally, with Nigeria’s President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki expressing their shock and sorrow over the irreplaceable loss.

The investigation is anticipated to take between 12 to 24 months to complete, with initial findings expected within a few weeks.

- Advertisement -

Latest Articles

More Articles Like This