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Home / Neighborhood / Riverside County / NTSB investigates deadly crash that killed 6 near Barstow

NTSB investigates deadly crash that killed 6 near Barstow

by HeyWire AI
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Federal investigators on Sunday were working to determine the cause of a Burbank-based helicopter crash in the desert that killed six, including an influential member of Nigeria’s financial sector.

Herbert Onyewumbu Wigwe, CEO of Access Bank and an influential figure in Nigeria’s financial sector died along with his wife and their son Friday night in the crash. Abimbola Ogunbanjo, former Nigerian Exchange Group chair, also died in the crash.

On Sunday, Michael Graham of the National Transportation Safety Board led the first full day of gathering evidence in the desert northeast of Barstow, recovering key components of the Airbus Eurocopter EC130 that lay strewn across the crash site 75 miles from where it began its fatal journey in Palm Springs. Investigators from the NTSB documented and collected the aircraft’s main rotor blades, transmission, tail rotor, landing gear and avionics.

They pieced together the final moments of the flight using tracking data, noting a slight right turn and a gradual descent that ended tragically a quarter-mile from the highway. According to eyewitnesses and corroborated by NTSB meteorologists, inclement weather conditions prevailed at the time of the accident.

The helicopter, chartered from Orbit Air LLC and initially headed for Boulder City, Nevada, crashed at approximately 10:08 p.m. Friday.

The pilot and co-pilot’s identities remained undisclosed.

Amid reports of downed power lines and fire at the crash scene, Graham noted the lengthy process of investigation ahead that could take up to two years to complete.

The crash prompted an international response, including condolences from World Trade Organization Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki, underscoring the global impact of the crash and the high regard for Wigwe and his contributions to the banking industry and the economic frontiers of Nigeria.

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