Herbert Wigwe: Nigerian bank chief among 6 killed in California helicopter crash
By TOI Desk Report February 11, 2024 Update on : February 11, 2024
Nigerian Access Bank chief executive Herbert Wigwe, along with his wife and son, were among six people killed in a helicopter crash in California on Friday.
The helicopter crash took place in the Mojave Desert near the California-Nevada border late Friday night, the bank in a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Abimbola Ogunbanjo, a former president of the Nigerian stock exchange, was among the six victims, World Trade Organization Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said in a post on X.
Both of the helicopter’s pilots were also killed in the crash, authorities said.
According to National Transportation Safety Board member Michael Graham, the chartered Airbus EC130 helicopter was flying from Palm Springs, California, to Boulder City, Nevada, just outside of Las Vegas.
The aircraft took off around 8:45pm PT and crashed just after 10:00pm near Interstate 15 in Halloran Springs, California, Graham said, adding that California-based charter company Orbic Air operated it.
Citing witness reports, Graham said the helicopter caught fire upon impact. When the crash occurred, witnesses also reported rain and a wintry mix, he said.
The NTSB has launched an investigation into the cause of the crash, and it was collecting evidence at the scene in Halloran Springs, California, Saturday night, Graham said at a news conference.
It’s not clear what caused the helicopter crash.
There has been no public identification of the victims, but condolences have poured in for the Wigwe family and the Ogunbanjo.
According to a statement released by the office of Nigeria’s President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, he called the deaths “an overwhelming tragedy that is shocking beyond comprehension.”
According to the company’s website, Herbert Wigwe became the Group Managing Director (MD) and chief executive of Access Bank in 2014.