Crashed military aircraft survived bomb attack in Mali

The Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul, has disclosed that CASA C295 aircraft that crashed into the grass parchment at the Air Force Base on Tuesday was hit in a terrorist attack in Mali. reported on the incident on November 29, 2016, where it stated that “the Jihadi group, linked to Al-Qaeda carried out a suicide vehicle bomb improvised explosives attack at the Gao airport that significantly damaged some of the CASA aircraft’s major component.

That attack left the aircraft grounded for eight weeks, forcing the Ghanaian government to spend about one million euros to repair the damage caused to it.

There is no indication that the damage from that attack contributed to Tuesday’s crash but in an interview on Joy News’ The Pulse, Mr Nitiwul indicated that an explosive attack which occurred in November 2016 targeting the Bangladeshi team that was part of the United Nation’s (UN) peacekeeping mission, affected many parts of the aircraft.

“It had a problem in Mali because one of the aircrafts that was targeted by some terrorists had its fragment piercing our own when it was destroyed by the explosives and so it affected the aircraft and could not move,” he narrated.

”Just like your car, when your car reaches the mandatory checkup period, you have to send your car for servicing. So like a car, once in a while you run the engine to make sure it is alright. So that is what they were doing, they brought it out of the hanger to run an engine test and this thing happened so it was not an aircraft that was flying or taking off it was an aircraft that had been parked,” he disclosed.

The Minister subsequently assured citizens that the military is still fully operational and the incident has not disrupted any activity.

The CASA C295 aircraft on Tuesday morning overrun the apron and crashed into the grass during engine run at the Air Force Base in Accra.

The incident which occurred around 11 a.m. left two crew members unharmed.

The Ghana Armed Forces has initiated a preliminary investigation team look into the incident and issue a report within 48 hours.