Accident Boeing 707-3F9C 5N-ABK, Monday 19 December 1994
ASN logo

Date:Monday 19 December 1994
Type:Silhouette image of generic B703 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Boeing 707-3F9C
Owner/operator:Nigeria Airways
Registration: 5N-ABK
MSN: 20669/864
Year of manufacture:1972
Total airframe hrs:31477 hours
Engine model:Pratt & Whitney JT3D-3C
Fatalities:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 5
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:near Kiri Kasama -   Nigeria
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Jeddah-King Abdulaziz International Airport (JED/OEJN)
Destination airport:Kano-Aminu Kano International Airport (KAN/DNKN)
Investigating agency: AIPB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The aircraft was on a cargo flight from Jeddah (JED) to Kano (KAN). The total cargo uplift was 35 tonnes packed in 13 pallets and some loose bundles of merchandise that were loaded in the lower cargo hold.
The departure from Jeddah was delayed for thirteen hours because of problems starting the no. 4 engine. The Boeing 707 departed at 13:48 UTC.
As the aircraft approached N'Djamena at Flight Level 350, about 17:00 UTC, the flight engineer noted a strange smell in the cockpit. The ground engineer and the load-master who were sitting in the cargo compartment area of the aircraft confirmed that the smell had persisted for a while around them.
It appeared that the area around pallet number 11 was misty. The pallet was sprayed with a fire extinguisher and the smoke evacuation procedure was carried out. This stopped the fumes temporarily. The aircraft was now halfway between N'Djamena and Kano with about 40 minutes flight time to go. At 18:00 the flight was cleared to descend. Then the Master Warning sounded, followed one minute later by a Fire Warning. Smoke entered the cabin. A descent was initiated with a descent rate close to 3000 feet per minute. Later the pitch trims became ineffective before the aircraft crashed into marshland. Tire ground marks at the scene of the accident indicated that the aircraft must have descended very slowly into the elephant grass and may have somersaulted on contact with the water, then exploded and disintegrated along the wreckage trail.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The probable cause of this accident was a heat generating substance that was hidden in a cargo of fabrics inside pallet No. 11 in the cargo compartment of the aircraft. The heat that emanated from the pallet resulted in smoke that caused a major distraction in the cockpit and later caused an explosion which seriously impaired the flight controls of the aircraft."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AIPB
Report number: 04/344
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 5 months
Download report: Final report


Flight International 4-10 January 1995 (4)



photo (c) Werner Fischdick; London-Heathrow Airport (LHR); 05 April 1976

photo (c) Felix Goetting; Manston-Kent International Airport (MSE); 19 August 1993

Revision history:


The Aviation Safety Network is an exclusive service provided by:
Quick Links:

CONNECT WITH US: FSF on social media FSF Facebook FSF Twitter FSF Youtube FSF LinkedIn FSF Instagram

©2024 Flight Safety Foundation

1920 Ballenger Av, 4th Fl.
Alexandria, Virginia 22314