Monday, October 17, 2011

Passenger list released

AIRLINES PNG grounded its remaining 11 Dash 8 aircraft last Friday while investigations started into last Thursday's horrific crash that claimed 28 lives, The National reports.
Eleven of the 28 people on the ill-fated flight were parents and family members of students at the Divine Word University who had gone to participate in a thanksgiving ceremony last Friday.
The university held a candle-lit vigil in remembrance over the weekend.
Those who died in the accident were Sidy Abore, Patrus Akau, Jeffrey Ako, Lucas Bako, Jenny Bal, Ronold Bibi, Samuel Bid, Natasha Bonga, Nathan Bonga, Cotilda Bula, Jeffrey Bula, Saron Doma, Ian Gagi, Benedict Kanaiu, Paul Konia, Thomas Kuekue, Esher Matlam, Christine Matlam, David Olobai, Samson Ote, Barnabas Philip, Debura Rabura, Miria Renagi, Anki Saiyong, Robert Sanglela, Mark Save, Simon Tiriman and Cecilia Wata.
As six Australian forensic experts were dispatched to assist with identification of almost all the bodies which have been burnt beyond recognition, APNG also announced that experts from aircraft frame manufacturers DeHavilland in Canada were also on their way and should be at the site today.
Prime Minister Peter O'Neill is also expected to visit the site and to participate in a memorial service at Divine Word University today.
Two black boxes, the flight recorders, were retrieved and could give vital details to investigators on what exactly happened in the final moments on board DHC-8 P2-MCJ.
An eyewitness, Amos Titus, from Marakum village told The National that there was a loud noise in the air and there was smoke pouring from the tail of the aircraft as it flew low over the sea.
"The smoke was blowing from the tail of the aircraft," Titus said in Tok Pisin.
"And fuel was pouring from the plane because it was dripping flames behind it as it approached. Where ever the fuel dripped on leaves of trees, the leaves burst into flames.
"The plane hit the branch of a tree and it flew off and then the tail broke apart and the plane hit the ground. It skidded for about 150m before it hit a tree and stopped.
"I was so shocked. I had never seen anything like it.
"I heard screams inside but the fire was too hot to do anything. Only one Chinese man jumped out and we helped him to safety."
APNG chairman Simon Wild pledged the airline's total commitment to establish the cause of last Thursday's tragic crash and support the families of the 28 victims.
He said APNG was "100% committed to finding out" the truth about the cause of the crash.
"We want and need to know too, and when we do, we will share our knowledge with you.
"That is why we have opened our books and made our people available to the investigating authorities, why there is a team from Canada representing the airframe manufactures and the engine makers on site today, and why we will share the community's pain until we know.
"My personal commitment to you is that, until we are confident there are no safety issues with our Dash-8 fleet, they will stay on the ground.

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