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On this day in 2014, Plateau State-born Nigerian footballer, Emmanuel Osita died in an ill-fated Air Algérie Flight 5017 crash along with all other 115 other passengers on board in South-East of Gossi in Mali.

He was the only Nigerian passenger on the ill-fated flight.

The plane had lost contact with air traffic controllers 50 minutes after takeoff.

It was travelling between Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso and Algiers, Algeria.

The plane was carrying 52 French nationals, 28 Burkinabes, 6 Algerians, 6 Spaniards, 6 Lebanese, 5 Canadians, 4 Germans, 2 Luxembourgians and one passenger each from Belgium, Cameroon, Egypt, Mali, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Nigeria.

Osita was reported to have been traveling for a trial to secure a professional contract in the Middle East.

He was a former midfielder at JC Raiders, Plateau United and Niger Tornadoes FC of Minna.

Osita is an Alma mater of the University Of Jos where he was a graduate of Mathematics.

The wreckage of the plane was found in Gossi, Mali, and United Nations personnel moved to secure the crash site on 25 July 2014.

French television showed images of the wreckage site taken by a soldier from Burkina Faso.

The brief footage showed a desolate area with scattered debris that was unrecognizable.

French soldiers were the first to reach the site. Burkina Faso's prime minister, Luc Adolphe Tiao, reviewed videos of the wreckage site and said that identifying the victims would be challenging.

Because most of those on board were French citizens, France declared three days of national mourning following the crash.

Flags flew at half mast on every public building from 28 July for three days.

Algeria also declared a three-day mourning period.

Burkina Faso also began two days of mourning over the crash which killed 28 Burkina Faso citizens.

During the mourning period, flags in Burkina Faso flew at half mast while all public celebrations were cancelled.

The Burkinabé Minister for National Security assured the families of victims that the government will do all it can to shed light on the circumstances leading to the crash.

Several families particularly from France took the airliner to Court in a protracted legal battle.

On 22 April 2016, the BEA finally concluded the cause of the crash as follows: "The aeroplane speed, piloted by the autothrottle, decreased due to the obstruction of the pressure sensors located on the engine nose cones, probably caused by ice crystals.


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