Following the tragic helicopter crash near the California-Nevada border, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have commenced an investigation into the incident. The crash, which occurred in the Mojave Desert at approximately 10 p.m. local time on Friday, February 9, involved a Eurocopter EC 130 helicopter near Nipton, California.
The FAA, in a statement provided to The PUNCH on Saturday, confirmed that six individuals were onboard the helicopter at the time of the crash but did not disclose details regarding casualties. Both the FAA and NTSB will conduct a thorough investigation, with the NTSB taking the lead and providing updates as the inquiry progresses.
While sources familiar with the matter have indicated that Herbert Wigwe, the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Access Holding, was among the casualties, the US agencies have not officially confirmed his status. The FAA urged contacting local authorities for information on the individuals onboard and their medical conditions.
Reports suggest that Wigwe had traveled to attend the Super Bowl event in Las Vegas, scheduled for Sunday, further adding to the tragedy. Sources revealed that Wigwe, along with his wife and son, were onboard the helicopter, resulting in a devastating loss for their family and community.
Dr. Kingsley Nwokoma, President of the Association of Foreign Airlines and Representatives in Nigeria, expressed sorrow over Wigwe’s demise, emphasizing the profound impact of his loss. Wigwe, a prominent business figure, had recently unveiled plans to invest $500 million in Wigwe University, aiming to enhance skills essential for Nigeria’s finance and technology sectors. The 57-year-old entrepreneur had announced the university’s plans to commence undergraduate admissions later this year, underscoring his commitment to education and innovation.