Yak-42 relatives travel to Turkey
17 May 2004
ISTANBUL – Relatives of soldiers who were killed in a controversial plane accident in Turkey were Monday being presented with DNA to confirm the identities of those who died.
The Yak-42 plane crashed in May last year in Trebisonda as 62 soldiers were travelling back from a peace-keeping mission in Afghanistan.
All soldiers lost their lives in the tragedy, which was blamed on an unsafe aircraft.
In January, an internal investigation by the Ministry of Defence accused Nato of failures.
Fears over the safety of the ageing ex-Soviet aircraft have been raised and the Spanish government had threatened to take legal action against Nato.
The tragedy has been an on-going issue in Spain with many relatives of the soldiers complaining the government has not done enough to compensate them for their loss.
Nato, which was said to have rented the former Soviet plane to transport troops without carrying out proper safety checks.
Thirty-seven relatives travelled to the Istanbul Monday to be presented with the remains of their loved ones.
Ana Ochoa, the former girlfriend of one of the dead soldiers, said that officials at the Institute of Toxicology in Istanbul believed they would have results ready in two days.
She said Turkish authorities had “collaborated with everything that we have asked and have been very receptive”.
“The truth is that we wanted to come very much but the atmosphere has been very sad between us. One time here was very tough.”
Angélica González, spokeswoman for the families, said some had doubts that the remains found at the place of the accident would match with the names of those who lost their lives.
More than 60 relatives travelled with members of the Ministry of Defence to Istanbul and two lawyers. The party was expected to return to Spain late Monday.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news