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April 16, 2021

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Nigeria names missing pilots, says air force jet may have crashed

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The Nigerian alpha jet that went missing on Wednesday may have crashed, an official has said.

The spokesperson of the Nigerian Air Force, Edward Gabkwet, said this in a statement Friday morning.

“Intelligence report gathered by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) indicates that the Alpha Jet aircraft (NAF475) that went off the radar with 2 crew members on board on 31 March 2021 might have crashed,” he said.

Mr Gabkwet, an air commodore, also named the two pilots missing from the incident.

“The cause of the crash as well as the whereabouts of the 2 pilots remain unknown. The pilots are Flight Lieutenant John Abolarinwa and Flight Lieutenant Ebiakpo Chapele.

“Extensive search and rescue efforts are still ongoing by NAF surveillance aircraft as well as NAF Special Forces and Nigerian Army troops on ground.

“At this point, the NAF is not ruling out anything regarding the incident. It however remains hopeful that the crew would soon be found and rescued,” he said.

The alpha jet was carrying out a mission against Boko Haram terrorists in Borno State when it went missing at about 6 p.m., officials had said.

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