Bank CEO And 5 Others Killed In Helicopter Crash In Desert


Dana Abizaid Contributor
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Six people, including a bank CEO, were killed in a helicopter crash in California’s Mojave Desert Friday night, ABC7 reported.

Herbert Wigwe, CEO of one of Nigeria’s largest banks, and Bamoifn Abimbola Ogunbanjo, the former chair of the Nigerian stock exchange, were among those who died when the helicopter went down in the desert shortly after 10 p.m., according to ABC7.

Michael Graham of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), confirmed at a news conference Saturday night that six people perished in the crash. (RELATED: Police Say No Survivors In Alabama Highway Helicopter Crash)


The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said the crash took place near the California-Nevada border, about 80-miles from Las Vegas, ABC7 reported.

The Federal Aviation Administration, which confirmed that six people were aboard the Eurocopter EC 130 when it went down, is investigating the accident along with the NTSB, according to ABC7.

The NTSB did not have any information about the pilot and safety pilot on board and noted that the helicopter did not have a cockpit voice recorder or a flight data recorder, according to the news conference.

Many Nigerians were shocked by the death of Wigwe, 57, since he was recognized as a leader in Nigeria’s banking industry, according to ABC7.

The helicopter was on a charter flight from Palm Springs Airport to Boulder City, Nevada, a city about 26 miles southeast of the site of Sunday’s Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas, ABC7 reported.

The NTSB said that many people traveling on the freeway near the crash witnessed the tragedy and urged them to contact the safety organization with photos, videos or any details they might have, according to the press conference.

“This is the beginning of a long process. We will not jump to any conclusions,” NTSB official Graham said.

The crash comes on the heels of another tragedy last Tuesday that saw five US Marines killed in a helicopter crash in the mountains outside of San Diego, ABC7 reported.