Cyprus still waiting for air crash report

27th July 2006, Comments 0 comments

27 July 2006, NICOSIA - Families of the 121 people who perished in an air crash near Athens last year will have to wait beyond the accident's anniversary to hear the report of the investigators and the reason why their relatives died.

27 July 2006

NICOSIA - Families of the 121 people who perished in an air crash near Athens last year will have to wait beyond the accident's anniversary to hear the report of the investigators and the reason why their relatives died.

Akrivos Tsolakis, the chief investigator of the Greek air accidents commission, is now expected to publish his conclusions at the end of August or early September, if not later, following many delays.

But when the relatives of all the Cypriot passengers and crew and the German pilot gather for a national day of prayer on August 14, they will still not know who to blame for the accident.

Rumours have been rife giving way to media speculation that the relatives, who have organized themselves into a single body to avoid any involvement of political parties or interest groups, would be suing the operator of the doomed Boeing 737, Helios Airlines, the manufacturer Boeing or even the Cyprus government for incompetence in its civil aviation infrastructure.

The Cyprus government too is perplexed by the whole situation as the Greek investigation relates only to the crash and whatever happened within Greek air space.

The shortcoming of inspectors or air traffic controllers in Cyprus is a matter for a separate investigation that has not even started because of the legal wrangling and the flurry of objections raised by the airline that says it has been tried and found guilty by the public, forcing it to change its name to Ajet, the procedures of which are subject of a separate investigation.

Even a documentary planned to be broadcast by the Discovery Channel near the anniversary date has already been judged as being misguided because it couldn't answer the questions of why the plane went down on that Sunday morning during a scheduled flight between Larnaca and Athens.

For now, the relatives will have to settle with the small chapel consecrated in late July to Ayia Paraskevi and built by Vassos Georgiou, the husband of one of the victims.

They are also lobbying the Greek government to declare the whole site at Grammatikos a national park so that they can put up a memorial there as well.

Church bells will toll and all flags will be at half mast throughout Cyprus to mark the anniversary.

DPA

Subject: German news

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