Saved By The Light: How One Teenager Escaped Nigerian Air Crash

AFP – Nigeria’s abysmal power supply may have saved 14-year-old David Shoyemi from being among the more than 150 people killed by a devastating plane crash in the country’s largest city of Lagos.

Saved by the light

Photo By Emmanuel Arewa/AFP

After church on Sunday afternoon, David’s father Emmanuel asked the teenager to walk across the road to buy a card for his mobile phone.

The phone cards were sold in the plot of land where the Dana Air MD83 crashed after its engines failed, killing all 153 people on board and a yet uncounted number on the ground.

“The minute I sent him, they brought light,” the elder Shoyemi told AFP, using a Nigerian phrase to describe when power has been restored.

“I told him, ‘quickly go and iron your clothes for school while there is light,'” said the 44-year-old father of five who owns a clothing store called Wemmy Tino.

His wife died two years ago and making sure his children are neatly dressed has become part of his Emmanuel Shoyemi’s paternal duties.

Moments after he told his son to start ironing, the plane came down: “then, what I hear is the noise. Pow! Pow!”

Despite being Africa’s top oil producer, Nigeria sees daily power cuts several times per day, leading people to use the electricity while they can.

Asked if he believed his son would been have killed had he gone out to buy the phone card, Shoyemi simply said, “I give God all the glory.”

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