Death Toll Expected to Rise in Nigeria Plane Crash

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Nigerian emergency workers have begun recovering bodies from the site where an American-built airliner crashed in Lagos, Nigeria's largest city.  

All 153 passengers were killed in Sunday's crash, and more fatalities are expected because the Dana Air jetliner went down in a densely populated area.
 
Emergency workers, firefighters and police struggled through the night to put out smoldering fires of the jet plane.

Making matters more difficult were the crowds of thousands who gathered around to see the crash site, with some even standing on the plane's broken wings, others atop the plane's landing gear.

The Boeing MD-80 plane was flying from the capital Abuja to Lagos when it suddenly slammed into a low-rise building several miles from the airport. The cause of the crash remains unknown.

But just before the crash, the plane's pilot reportedly radioed the control tower signaling some kind of engine trouble.

An aviation official said all 153 passengers and crew where killed.  A church, a two-story building and several residential apartments were badly damaged. 

The plane landed on its belly, with the nose of the aircraft embedded in a three-storey apartment building.

While the cause of the crash has not yet been determined, The Christian Science Monitor reports that there is speculation as to whether the age of the aircraft was a contributing factor.

Nigeria passed a law two years earlier banning planes that are more than two decades old. Dana's youngest plane is 20.9 years old.

"Every possible effort will be made to ensure that the right lessons are learnt ... and that further measures will be put in place to boost aviation safety in the country," a spokesman for the president said.

Meanwhile, the president has declared three days of national mourning.

"The president joins all Nigerians in mourning all those who lost their lives in the plane crash which has sadly plunged the nation into ... sorrow,"  Jonathan's office said in a statement.

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