Relatives given wrong bodies of crash victims

27th May 2004, Comments 0 comments

27 May 2004, MADRID - The Spanish defence minister, José Bono, has admitted that the families of 62 Spanish soldiers killed in an air crash in Turkey a year ago while on their way home from Afghanistan were probably given the wrong bodies to bury, it was reported Thursday.

27 May 2004

MADRID - The Spanish defence minister, José Bono, has admitted that the families of 62 Spanish soldiers killed in an air crash in Turkey a year ago while on their way home from Afghanistan were probably given the wrong bodies to bury, it was reported Thursday.

"There may be coffins with the remains of more than one person in them, or families may have been given the wrong body," he told a parliamentary committee before flying to Turkey for memorial services, reported The Guardian newspaper.

The revelation, to be confirmed by DNA tests, seems likely to lead to exhumations and reburials.

Bono flew with 152 relatives to the area near the Black Sea Wednesday where the chartered plane crashed on its third attempt to land in thick fog at Trabzon airport.

They were joined by Turkish officials for ceremonies unveiling memorials in the town of Macka and on the mountainside where the crash occurred.

When the bodies were returned to Spain the relatives were given closed coffins after a state funeral service at a military airport in Madrid presided over by King Juan Carlos.

Carlos Ripollés, the president of the Association of Victims' Families, which has been campaigning on the issue, told journalists: "There are bodies which were not correctly identified."

José María Aznar's recently-defeated Popular Party government was accused of hiring one of the cheapest planes available to bring the peacekeeping soldiers home - a Russian-built Yakolev-42 run by a Ukrainian charter company.

Aznar's government refused to carry out DNA tests to see if mistakes had been made.

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Subject: Spanish news

 

 

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