Heart-stopping footage shows the cabin of the plane becoming hazy as smoke pours in and passengers begin to scream.
Those on board were chanting prayers, screaming and panicking as the smoke became so thick passengers reported they “couldn’t see”.
The domestic flight from Port Harcourt to Lagos, Nigeria, had 53 people on board, including a seven-month-old baby.
Frightened passengers said they narrowly ’escaped death’ after the plane began to smoke around 20 minutes into the flight.
Shockingly, passengers claim the oxygen masks failed to drop down
But those on board were forced to endure another 35-minutes of panic while the pilot frantically told them to calm down.
Shockingly, passengers claim the oxygen masks failed to drop down, and they were instead told to cover their mouths with handkerchiefs or clothes, as many began coughing and spluttering.
Some said staff handed out wet towels in a bid to help people overcome the effects of the smoke.
20 minutes after take off, our aero contractor flight started smoking. For 35min we were chanting prayers, screaming, panicking….
— ORIAKU (OKWESILIEZE) (@puffypearl) April 18, 2017
Travellers claimed they could see one of the plane’s engine on fire during the hair-raising journey on the Aero Contractors flight.
One passenger later tweeted: “Everyone is shouting sue sue but I'm just grateful to be alive and on ground. Funny thing is no apology or explanation was given to anyone.
“Everyone on this aero contractor flight could have died today but for God.
“I’m grateful. Nigerian airports need new directors/ flights.
Heart-stopping footage shows the cabin of the plane becoming hazy
“20 minutes after take off, our aero contractor flight started smoking.
“For 35min we were chanting prayers, screaming, panicking….”
She claimed the plane was met by firefighters when it finally landed safely in Lagos.
Everyone on this aero contractor flight could have died today
The passenger added: "Like we just took off and I'm about to die? Nah! God can't let this happen.
“The smoke was so thick we couldn't see, the blades were sparking.
“Pilot said we should calm down but something was burning, smelling and the smoke got thicker, the alarms went off but he said to calm down?
The domestic flight from Port Harcourt to Lagos, Nigeria, had 53 people on board
"I prayed and quoted all the bible verses I could think of.
“I was shaking, the plane was moving up and down, women were screaming at the back."
Nigeria's Civil Aviation Authority and the airline confirmed they are investigating the incident.
Some said staff handed out wet towels in a bid to help people with the smoke
A spokesman for the airline said everything appeared to be normal during take-off and the standard pre-flight checks.
They added a fire alarm sounded and smoke filled the cabin after a passenger used the bathroom.
They praised the pilot and crew for their "professionalism" during the emergency.