Police fire tear gas at surging crowd at Nigerian crash site

AFP , Monday 4 Jun 2012

Nigerian police fire tear gas as crowd gathers to look at site of Lagos plane crash that left all 153 people on board dead

Nigerian police fired tear gas on Monday as a crowd surged at the site of a devastating plane crash in the country's largest city of Lagos that killed all 153 people on board.

A crowd trying to get a look at the wreckage sought to break though a police barricade in one area at the site, prompting police to fire tear gas, an AFP correspondent reported.

The crowd of about 2,000 people retreated but later returned, looking on from rooftops and other areas.

Rescue workers have so far pulled at least 62 bodies from the wreckage, an official said as searches pressed on at the site of the devastation.

A spokesman for the country's accident investigation bureau said all those on board were considered dead.

Two cranes arrived early Monday to clear debris and allow rescue workers better access to the densely populated area near the airport where the Dana Air plane crashed on Sunday.

"Sixty-two bodies recovered so far," a rescue official said on condition of anonymity.

A church, a two-storey residential building and a printing shop were badly damaged at the site. The number of those killed on the ground remained unclear.

Smoke was still rising from the scene and water trucks were also brought in to douse the smouldering wreckage.

"We were lucky. We just finished our church service when this thing happened," one resident at the scene on Monday morning said.

One woman, who said that her uncle had been aboard the plane, asked rescue workers if she could have access to the site, but they refused, saying the bodies were unrecognisable.

President Goodluck Jonathan has declared three days of national mourning for victims of the crash.

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