Plane crash investigation continues

2011-08-17 13:59
Polokwane - On-site investigations into the twin plane accident northeast of Tzaneen in Limpopo are continuing, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said on Wednesday.

"Our guys are still busy with on-site investigations. Part of that is going to be making arrangements to remove the wreckage," spokesperson Phindiwe Gwebu said.

The Albatross aircraft took off from Tzaneen Airport in Limpopo on Sunday at 10:30. Both planes were bound for Rand Airport in Johannesburg, after participating in the Tzaneen air show. They were reported missing at 13:30 on the same day, authorities said.

Bad weather and low cloud conditions initially hampered the search on Monday.

The search for the two missing planes ended on Tuesday when the bodies were found among crash wreckage on Mamotswiri Peak.

Gwebu said indications so far were that the two aircraft, carrying six and seven passengers respectively, caught fire after crashing into the mountain.

"The speculation is based on what we found at the wreckage. Until we [are] able to prove something else we are not going to comment any further," she said.

"The purpose of the investigation is to help us come to a conclusion on what happened."

The bodies of 13 people who died in the accident were to be flown to Pretoria on Wednesday for post mortem examinations, Limpopo police said.

"The bodies also need to be identified," Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said. "Some of the bodies were burnt beyond recognition. We are going to have to do DNA testing."

Those on board the aircraft with registration ZU MMI were pilot Brian Gruar and passengers Marrion Anderson, Maddison and Alexandra Doak, Tess Spence, Louise Warden and Kevin Woolacott.

On board the other plane, registration ZS NJX, were pilot Pieter Geldenhuys, and passengers Stuart and Peter van Oldenburg, Frans Dely, Marietjie de Witt, and Linda Pierce. Dely was a well-known Johannesburg aviation photographer.
- SAPA
Read more on:    caa  |  polokwane  |  air crashes
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