People watch as a crane lifts the tail of a Dana Air plane after it crashed in Lagos, Nigeria, June 4. The crash claimed the lives of all 153 people on board, as well as six people in a building the plane struck. (CNS photo/Akintunde Akinleye, Reuters)

LAGOS, Nigeria (CNS) — Cardinal Anthony Okogie of Lagos consoled the families of the victims of the crashed Dana Air plane and urged them to draw strength from God.

“My heart goes out to all those who lost their loved ones, friends and well-wishers. I condole with them and indeed all Nigerians,” the cardinal said in a statement June 4, the day after the crash.

“My prayer is that the good Lord will give the relations and all of us the fortitude to bear this irreplaceable loss,” he said. “It is unfortunate and could have been avoided if those at the helm of affairs do the right thing at the right time.”

The cardinal called for a government overhaul of the nation’s aviation sector. The following day, the government suspended Dana Air’s license for the remainder of its investigation.

“We should stop the habit of toying with issues that concern human life,” the cardinal said. “Before now, there has been so much public outcry over the deteriorating condition of our aviation sector without corresponding effort by those in authority to address the challenges.”

The Dana passenger aircraft with 135 passengers on board was traveling to Lagos from Abuja when it developed engine problems and crashed into residential buildings in a Lagos suburb.

All 135 passengers on board as well as six residents in one of the buildings were killed.

— By Peter Ajayi Dada, Catholic News Service