T&T suspends V’zuela airline

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T&T suspends V’zuela airline

Unread post by bimjim » Mon Sep 20, 2010

http://www.stabroeknews.com/2010/news/r ... a-airline/

T&T suspends V’zuela airline
By Stabroek staff
September 20, 2010

14 killed in crash…

(Trinidad Express) Local aviation authorities yesterday suspended Venezuela’s state airline from flying to Trinidad and Tobago after one of its planes crashed in Venezuela, killing 14 people.

The plane carrying 51 people crashed on Saturday in eastern Venezuela, and officials in that country said 33 people survived.

Director general of the Trinidad and Tobago Civil Aviation Authority at Piarco Ramesh Lutchmedial confirmed on Saturday that the operations from Caracas to Trinidad of Venezuela state airline Conviasa were suspended after the crash.

The French-built ATR 42 from Conviasa slammed into a lot used by the state-run Sidor steel foundry, leaving its smashed and partly scorched fuselage among barrels and shipping containers, the Associated Press reported.

Lutchmedial told the Express by phone Conviasa’s operations to Piarco International Airport were “suspended today pending further investigations” into the crash and the airline.

He said the airline operated one daily flight and between Port of Spain the Venezuelan island of Margarita.
There were no intial reports of Trinidadians onboard when the plane crashed.

At least 14 people were killed and four others were missing after the crash about six miles from the eastern city of Puerto Ordaz, Bolivar state Governor Francisco Rangel Gomez said on Saturday in an AP report.

Steel plant worker Oscar Crespo said he heard the thunderous noise of the impact and found the plane in flames.
“I was one of the first who got there to help,” Crespo told state television. “We brought some of the injured into an office to treat them. While I was taking people out, Sidor’s firefighters arrived to help us.”

While he was helping some of the survivors from the wreckage in thick smoke, Crespo said, he heard some children among the passengers telling how they had looked out the windows and had seen they were “flying very low” before the crash.

It was unclear what caused the crash.

The governor said 33 people survived and were being treated at hospitals.

The plane, a twin-engine turboprop, was carrying 47 passengers and four crew members, Rangel Gomez said.

He said that Conviasa Flight 2350 had taken off from Margarita Island—a Caribbean island that is one of Venezuela’s top tourist destinations—and crashed shortly before reaching its destination, the airport of Puerto Ordaz, the AP report said.

The state airline, Consorcio Venezolano de Industrias Aeronauticas y Servicios Aeros SA, began operations in 2004.

It says it serves destinations in Venezuela, the Caribbean, Argentina, Iran and Syria.

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