Friday, August 19, 2005

Crash relatives fly to Venezuela Relatives of those killed when a jet crashed in Venezuela on Tuesday, killing all 160 people on board, have been arriving in Venezuela.
Some 100 relatives from the French island of Martinique, where most of the victims came from, flew to Maracaibo - the city closest to the crash site.
Almost all body parts have now been recovered and await identification.
The Colombian-owned West Caribbean Airways MD-82 crashed after the pilot reported problems in both engines.
French President Jacques Chirac will fly to Martinique, in the Caribbean, on Wednesday to attend a day of mourning in memory of the 152 French people killed in the crash.
Emotional scenes
Some relatives wept as they as they got off their plane in a deserted Maracaibo airport.
All wanted information on what exactly went wrong on the flight from Panama City to Martinique.
"That night, my sister called me from the airport to tell me when she would take off. I still don't manage to understand she will never call again," Rose-Marie Pelican, 51, whose sister Marie-Annick Taupin and 18-year-old niece Elodie Maquiava were killed, told reporters.
"They have to find the culprits," she added.

French experts will help study flight data recorders recovered from the plane's wreckage.

French transport minister Dominique Perben told Paris' RTL radio the flight recorders - which contain flight data and cockpit voice records - would be analysed in Venezuela "in the presence and with the collaboration of our technicians and engineers".
Tough task
"The near-total destruction of the plane makes this investigation tough," a police investigator said.
The task of identifying the dead will also be problematic. French interior ministry forensic experts are helping with the process.
The passengers included civil service and local government officials from Martinique.
The crash has had an enormous impact on the small island of Martinique, home to some 430,000 people.
"It really is a huge catastrophe for us. Almost every family is concerned, be it through a relative or friends," the president of the island's assembly, Claude Lise, told the Associated Press news agency.
West Caribbean Airways was set up in 2000 to provide low-cost flights within Colombia and to the Caribbean region, according to the company website.
This is the second incident this year involving the airline. In March a flight taking off from the Colombian island of Providencia crashed, killing eight people.

Story from BBC NEWS: 2005/08/19 15:15:12 GMT© BBC MMV


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