A plane that was towed along the side of a busy expressway in Lagos on Tuesday night has caused widespread confusion and amusement to commuters – and rumours it had crashed – before Nigerian authorities said that it was being delivered to its new owner via the busy road.
Several videos of the aircraft posted on social media showed it at various points along the side of a major road, within a mile of the international and domestic airport terminals and plane storage facilities in the Ikeja area of Lagos.
Footage showed the passenger aircraft being towed alongside heavy traffic as pedestrians passed closely by, with videos taken from one side of the plane showing trucks towing away part of one of the aircraft wings.
Some initial reports spread online claimed that the plane had crash landed in the populous area.
In response to questions on how the surprise aircraft had arrived on the side of the road, Ibrahim Farinloye, the head of Lagos’ emergency management agency said officials “tracked all incoming and outgoing flights in Lagos and there is no plane missing so far.”
Then in a statement on Tuesday night Nigeria’s airport authorities said reports of a crash landing were false. “The aircraft was sold by the owner to a buyer, who was talking it to its final destination. Thank you,” the statement said posted on social media.
Isaac Eneji, who took a video of the plane on his way home from work after 8pm said the sight of the plane left him and others baffled. “At first I thought it was an art work. I was arguing with a colleague until we saw it was a plane on the road. How can a tow truck move a plane’s fuselage along a major highway during the peak of traffic?” he said.
“I saw a towing truck pulling the fuselage of the plane out of something that looked like a ditch, and the cockpit was on the road,” Eneji said.
Jude, another eye witness who posted footage of the plane said, “It was a shock to everyone, seeing a plane on the express road. The things we see in Lagos.”
By Emmanuel Akinwotu