General News of Tuesday, 22 May 2012Source: GNA Mr. Oduro Sarpong, Sales Manager at Antrak Air, a domestic airline on Tuesday discounted claims by some media houses that their aircraft scheduled to fly from Tamale to Accra in the morning had caught fire.
He said there had never been fire on the aircraft as reported but that, the captain on starting the aircraft detected smoke coming from the engine and immediately shut it down.
Mr. Sarpong said passengers were not “evacuated” as had been reported but disembarked when the engine was shut off.
“At no time did the captain see a fire and at no point were the lives of the passengers in danger, the situation was not live threatening,” he stated.
Mr. Sarpong explained that, several factors could cause smoke in the engine including rubbing together of metal, oil dropping on hot metal or fire, adding that, their engineers had been dispatched to their site to determine the cause of the smoke.
Meanwhile, passengers who still wanted to make the journey were assisted by Antrak Air to book places on other airlines while those who decided not to, were given a full refund of their fares.
Some media houses had earlier reported that the Antrak Air flight with passengers on board had caught fire, and that the passengers and crew had to be evacuated.
However, Ghana News Agency reported in the morning that an Antrak Air aircraft had been grounded at the Tamale Aerodrome following safety concern.
Among the passengers on board the aircraft before the incident were Mr. Cletus Avoka, Majority Leader in Parliament and Dr. Abu Sakara Foster, Flagbearer of the Convention People’ s Party (CPP).**