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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Prominent Nigerian Banker Among Victims of Fatal Helicopter Crash in California

A tragic helicopter crash near the California-Nevada border claimed the lives of all six people on board, including notable Nigerian banker Herbert Wigwe, his wife, son, and businessman Abimbola Ogunbanjo. The Federal Aviation Administration reported that the Eurocopter EC130 helicopter went down around 10 p.m. local time near Nipton, Calif., amidst rainy and wintry conditions. The aircraft, which departed from Palm Springs, Calif., at 8:45 p.m. en route to Boulder City, Nev., crashed near Halloran Springs, Calif., at 10:08 p.m., killing two crew members and four passengers. Michael Graham of the National Transportation Safety Board expressed condolences to the families of the victims during a news conference, acknowledging the tragedy’s profound impact.

Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu confirmed the identities of the victims, expressing shock and sorrow over the loss. Mr. Wigwe, a director at Access Bank P.L.C., was hailed as a visionary leader whose contributions to the financial sector were widely recognized. His colleague, Mr. Ogunbanjo, former chairman of the Nigerian Exchange Group P.L.C., was also mourned for his significant role in the country’s financial industry.

The flight was operated by Orbic Air LLC, based in Burbank, Calif. FlightAware data showed the helicopter’s last known location near Barstow, Calif., at 9:49 p.m. The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration have launched investigations into the crash, seeking to determine the cause of the tragic incident.

Jonathan James
Jonathan James
I serve as a Senior Executive Journalist of The National Era
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