Herbert Wigwe

US Agencies begin probe into California helicopter crash

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The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board have initiated an investigation into the helicopter crash near the California-Nevada border.

According to the FAA, the crash which occurred in the Mojave Desert around 10 pm. local time on Friday, February 9, near Nipton, California involved a Eurocopter EC 130.

The FAA, in a statement obtained by The PUNCH on Saturday, confirmed that six people were on board but did not disclose information regarding casualties.

Part of the statement read, “The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate. The NTSB will be in charge of the investigation and will provide any updates.”

Sources familiar with the matter confirmed to The PUNCH that Herbert Wigwe, the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Access Holding, was among the casualties in the helicopter crash.

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However, the US agency did not disclose whether Wigwe was among the number of casualties or not.

The Public Affairs Specialist, Office of Communications, FAA Rick Breitenfeldt emailed, “Contact local authorities for the names and medical conditions of the people on board.”

According to a source, Wigwe had traveled for the Super Bowl event in Las Vegas scheduled for Sunday.

“A whole family was wiped out,” the source told The PUNCH.

The President of the Association of Foreign Airlines and Representatives in Nigeria, Dr. Kingsley Nwokoma also confirmed that he was aware of the information regarding Wigwe’s demise.

“This is a big loss. He didn’t die alone, both his wife and son were involved. It’s quite unfortunate that he had to die this way,” he said on a telephone call.

A few months ago, the co-founder of Access Bank disclosed plans to invest $500m in Wigwe University, a strategic initiative aimed at fostering skills crucial for the finance and technology sectors in Nigeria.

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The 57-year-old business tycoon in November, said that his university will begin admitting students for undergraduate courses this year.



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