Helicopter with six on board crashes in California, Nigeria’s Access Bank group CEO among deceased

Six people, including the group chief executive of Nigeria’s Access Bank, which is also one of the largest lenders of the African country, lost their lives in a helicopter crash in Southern California on Friday (Feb 9), said the authorities.

The US Federal Aviation Administration released a statement saying that six people were aboard the aircraft when it crashed at around 10 pm near Nipton, California.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, director general of the World Trade Organization, in a post on social media platform X, confirmed that the incident had claimed the life of Access Bank Group CEO Herbert Wigwe, along with that of Nigerian Exchange Group’s former Chairman Abimbola Ogunbanjo.

“Terribly saddened by the news of the terrible loss of Herbert Wigwe, Group CEO Access Bank, his wife and son as well as Bimbo Ogunbanjo in a helicopter crash,” Okonjo-Iweala said on X.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement that the site of the helicopter crash was determined to be east of the 15-Freeway, near Halloran Springs Road.

It further added that no survivors were found as of Saturday.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA announced that they would conduct joint investigations after determining that the aircraft was a Eurocopter EC 130.

Multiple sources state that the chopper crashed close to a border city between Nevada and California on its way to Las Vegas.

(With inputs from agencies)

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