Explanation for crash in Venezuela still out

28th November 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Nov 28 (AFP) - A conclusion by the airline West Caribbean that ice on the wings of one of its planes was responsible for the August 16 crash in Venezuela that killed all 160 people on board was "hasty," French air accident investigators probing the crash said Friday.

PARIS, Nov 28 (AFP) - A conclusion by the airline West Caribbean that ice on the wings of one of its planes was responsible for the August 16 crash in Venezuela that killed all 160 people on board was "hasty," French air accident investigators probing the crash said Friday.

The French Bureau of Inquiry and Analyses (BEA) said it "regrets that the operator is drawing hasty conclusions from this accident on the basis of just one of the elements plucked from the initial evaluations of the inquiry."

It added: "None of the elements from the inquiry allow this conclusion to be reached."

The BEA was reacting to a report in the Colombian newspaper El Colombiano on Sunday in which the director of West Caribbean, Jorge Perez, claimed that "the accident was caused by weather conditions, the loss of control due to an excess of ice on the wings."

Perez said that conclusions showed the plane "was not in bad repair as the media has insistently reported."

The newspaper also said that a report by the US National Transportation Safety Board noted that the pilots had discussed the bad weather and possibility of icing before the aircraft went down.

The crash of the twin-engine McDonnell Douglas MD-82 aircraft on a flight from Panama to Martinique killed 152 French passengers from Martinique and eight crew from Colombia.

The BEA said that, at this stage of the investigation, it was impossible to concentrate on one factor to the exclusion of all others.

A final report on the crash is not expected before several months.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

 

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