Airline denies planes were grounded on day of mishap

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Airline denies planes were grounded on day of mishap

Unread post by bimjim » Mon Aug 16, 2010

http://www.caribbeandailynews.com/st-vi ... of-mishap/

Airline denies planes were grounded on day of mishap
Aug 10th, 2010

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, CMC – Chairman of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines airline company (SVG-AIR), Martin Bernard, has denied reports that the planes belonging to the company had been grounded for maintenance work on the day that one of them crashed last week.

Rescue workers are still searching for the pilot of the ill-fated flight on Thursday.

Bernard also dismissed allegations that strange sounds were heard coming from the aircraft before it took off for Canouan to airlift an accident victim, who has since died.

Bernard told a news conference that the company had sent another plane to Canouan to pick up another person involved in the accident on the same evening and “to see whether anything could be seen or found…”

St. Vincent and the Grenadines Director of Airports, Corsel Robinson, has also dismissed suggestions that the aircraft exploded before hitting the water.

“It would be very irresponsible for us to come to any conclusion as to what happened at this point of the accident. The matter is being investigated. Finding pieces of an aircraft means something broke up. As to how it broke up, we cannot conclude that until the investigation is completed,” he added.

Captain Suresh Lakram was the sole occupant of the aircraft and investigators said that some debris had been found 7.5 nautical miles off the island of Mustique.

Barnard described the incident as “a most tragic event”.

“It has been very painful. It has hurt us all. Captain Lakram was one of the founders of the company and he was always very, very close to us all – very close to the company, always tremendously loyal. He was a wonderful man and it is sad for me that I should have to go through this again.

“It was but a few years ago that I lost my son in law under similar circumstances of the end of ET Joshua Airport,” he added.

“It’s my hope that the coastguard with assistance from the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard can find something, which would help us bring closure to this entire matter. There’s very little else that I can say except to say that we’re all still grieving.”

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