OECS Civil Aviation Authority directors missing in Haiti

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OECS Civil Aviation Authority directors missing in Haiti

Unread post by bimjim » Fri Jan 15, 2010

http://www.antiguasunonline.com/news/lo ... haiti.html

OECS Civil Aviation Authority directors missing in Haiti E-mail
News Articles - Local
Written by Reporter
Friday, 15 January 2010 02:18
Employees at the OECS Civil Aviation Authority in Antigua are remaining hopeful they will receive word from two of their colleagues, who are unaccounted for in Haiti.

Director-General of the authority Rosemond James and Director of flight safety Gregory McAlpin arrived in Haiti Tuesday, hours before the earthquake struck, to attend the annual meeting of the Caribbean Aviation Safety and Security Oversight System (CASSOS).

That gathering of aviation personnel did not materialise as the deadly quake struck the Haitian capital. Now the two men have not been heard from since their arrival.

Director-General of the authority Rosemond James, left, and Director of flight safety Gregory McAlpin.Speaking to this newspaper, Craig Walter, director of finance and administration and the officer currently in charge of the OECS Civil Aviation Authority said they have received no word on the whereabouts of the men.

“Everyone in the office is worried and fearful, but we are hoping that those who are part of the search and rescue teams in Haiti will be able to locate them,” Walter said.

The two men, along with two of their counterparts from Curacao, arrived at the Montana hotel in Port-Au-Prince ahead of the others due to flight arrangements, and were reportedly together at the time the quake struck. Civil Aviation Minister John Maginley said he also remains hopeful that the two men will be located.

“We are keeping our fingers crossed. We are trying to work with all the international agencies that are there to see if we can locate Mr. McAlpin and Mr. James.

"The United Nations has contacted the family members, and advised them that they (the men) are unaccounted for. Our prayers are with the family,” Maginley said.

The minister noted that initial reports indicated that contact was made with Gregory McAlpin, but it turned out to be Greg Fox of the Civil Aviation Authority of Jamaica. Fox News reported Wednesday that the four-star hotel Montana collapsed during the earthquake, and some 200 guests are still missing.

The AFP news agency has quoted the French State Department official Alain Joyandet as saying, “We know there were 300 people inside the hotel when it collapsed, only around 100 have got out, which greatly concerns us.”

Rosemond James is St. Lucian by birth, and McAlpin, Trinidadian. But both are also naturalised citizens of Antigua and Barbuda the Antigua Sun was told.
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Gregory McAlpin: DESPERATION

Unread post by bimjim » Sat Jan 16, 2010

http://www.trinidadexpress.com/index.pl ... =161583054

...'Trini aviation worker still unaccounted for'
Juhel Browne jbrowne@trinidadexpress.com
Saturday, January 16th 2010

Gregory McAlpin, a Trinidad and Tobago national who was in Haiti when the devastating 7.0 earthquake struck there on Tuesday, has not yet been accounted for, his sister Karen Camejo said yesterday.

She was reacting to information issued by the Foreign Affairs Ministry on Thursday evening that stated McAlpin was ’accounted for’.

’He’s not found,’ Camejo told the Express in a telephone interview.

She said her brother, who is 48, single and has no children, is never far from his cellphone, but as of yesterday he had not called or texted any of his family or friends to say he was okay.

’He’s the kind of person, he would have made contact,’ Camejo said.

Furthermore, she said the Foreign Affairs Ministry wrongly identified McAlpin as the flight safety director with the Trinidad and Tobago Civil Aviation Authority (TTCAA). He works with the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA), Camejo said, and lives in Antigua, where the ECCAA is based.

This was confirmed yesterday by this country’s director general of Civil Aviation Ramesh Lutchmedial, who survived the earthquake in Haiti and was due to return home last night. Lutchmedial was flown out of Haiti to Jamaica on a military aircraft on Wednesday, and told the Express on Thursday night that he was in a crisis meeting with other Caribbean directors general of Civil Aviation, trying to get eight of their colleagues out of Haiti.

Speaking by phone just before he was set to fly back home yesterday, Lutchmedial said four of his eight regional colleagues made it to Jamaica from Haiti yesterday, but McAlpin was not one of them.

Camejo, who lives in Santa Cruz, says McAlpin was staying in the Hotel Montana in Port-au-Prince, which collapsed during the earthquake. Both Lutchmedial and McAlpin were attending a Caribbean Aviation Safety and Security Oversight System (CASSOS) meeting in Haiti when the earthquake struck.

’I know for a fact Gregory was in the Montana Hotel. He sent a text to his friend (in Antigua), saying at 4.30 p.m. (on Tuesday) he was in his room and at five o’clock everything happened,’ Camejo said.

CNN’s iReport website lists McAlpin as one of those missing in Haiti after the earthquake. The website stated that McAlpin arrived in Haiti on January 12 and was staying at the Montana Hotel.

Contacted for comment yesterday, the Foreign Affairs Ministry stated that it got a call from someone ’informing us that these two gentlemen, the both names, Mr McAlpin and Mr Lutchmedial, were at the (aviation) meeting and they were not accounted for at one point in time’.

’Subsequently, a statement was release by the Caricom Secretariat, indicating that all persons who were attending the meeting were accounted for, and it is based on that information we would have put out that communication, indicating that the persons were in fact found or located,’ the Ministry stated.

Its release on Thursday, however, only stated ’both nationals were safe’ and did not identify the Caricom Secretariat as the source of that information. As for the Ministry’s description of McAlpin as being employed with the TTCA, the Ministry said yesterday that ’we got that information as to the names of the person and where he was working’ and the person who received the information ’in our unit called and confirmed’ the spelling of his name and offered no further details.

In addition to McAlpin, Camejo said one of his Caribbean colleagues, Roseman James, is also missing in Haiti. The Express also received an e-mail yesterday, which stated that the Directorate of Civil Aviation Netherlands Antilles (DCANA) is looking for director Siegfried Francisco and airworthiness inspector Auxencio (Angelo) Isenia, who were also attending the CASSOS conference and were staying at the Montana Hotel.

Two-hundred of the 300 people who were at the hotel when it collapsed have been identified as missing, but the Associated Press reported yesterday that French firefighters on Thursday pulled three people alive from the ruins of the hotel. They had been trapped for more than 50 hours.

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