Sunday, 8 February 2015

Chilean soccer team's plane finally found 54 years after doomed flight crashed in Andes

Fifty four years after a Douglas DC-3 crashed in Chile’s Andes – killing all 24 people aboard, including members of a Chilean soccer team and three referees – a team of mountaineers discovered the remains of the crash.

The 1961 LAN 301 air crash was deemed at the time one of the world’s major air disasters involving athletes – surpassed maybe only by the 1972 Uruguayan plane crash that stranded members of a rugby in the high Andes. The plane’s whereabouts has been one of the great unsolved aerial mysteries.

Remains of the crash were finally found early this week at an undisclosed location about 200 miles away from Santiago, Chile.

“The plane is more than 10,000 feet above sea level. A large part of the fuselage is still intact and a lot of material including human bones are scattered around the wreck,” expedition member Leonardo Albornoz said, according to UK’s Mirror newspaper.

Albornoz said officials are declining to disclose the exact location of the plane because they don’t want the site to become a tourist attraction.

“This story is being rewritten because they’re not where official publications indicated,” he said. “We don’t want this place to be defiled and the remains taken as trophies. You have to remember people died here and their families deserve respect.”

The Douglas DC-3 was one of two flying back to Santiago after the Green Cross soccer club played a cup match against Osorno Selección on April 1, 1961 that ended in a 1-1 draw. While some players opted to go on a second flight that made a few stops before arriving in Santiago, most Green Cross’ first team squad flew on the doomed plane as it took a more direct route to the Chilean capital.

Despite the loss of its players, the team decided to fulfill its cup obligations and play the second leg of their bout against Osorno Selección, which they lost 0-1 and were knocked out of the cup. The crash also left an indelible mark on the club, which was founded in 1916, as they finished 12th out of 14 clubs that season and the next year were relegated.

The team made a stunning comeback in 1964 when it returned to the Chilean league’s first division. The victory, however, was short-lived as in March 1965 the Green Cross merged with Deportes Temuco, and was renamed Green Cross Temuco.

Sunday 8 February 2015

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Plane with human remains of MH17 tragedy returns to Netherlands

A military transport plane has flown a coffin carrying human remains recovered from the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 back to the Netherlands.

The plane from the airport of the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv was received by Dutch Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Interior Minister Ronald Plasterk and around 150 relatives.

The Malaysia Airlines MH17 crashed on July 17, 2014, killing 298 people on board, including 196 Dutch citizens. The Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice announced on Jan. 13, 2015 that one more victim was identified. Forensics teams in the Netherlands have so far identified 295 victims with DNA testing.

There have been a total of eight flights that escorted the remains of MH17 victims from Ukraine to the Netherlands since the crash.

Sunday 8 February 2015

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TransAsia Airways Flight 235: Five more bodies recovered

The death toll from Wednesday's plane crash in Taipei, Taiwan reached 40 today with the recovery of five more bodies.

There were 58 on board when TransAsia Airways Flight 235 crashed into the city's Keelung River. Fifteen survived and three more remain missing. Tzu Chi Foundation volunteer Lee Hung Shu-ying said today cold weather meant the families of the missing believe their loved ones are dead.

Thirty-one tourists from the Chinese mainland who had just completed visits to Taiwan were on board the plane bound for Kinmen when the tragedy happened and at least 26 of them have died in the crash.

Rescuers found the bodies in waters 500 meters, 600 meters and 1 km downstream from the crash site, according to Taiwan's disaster response center.

A public memorial ceremony has been scheduled on Feb. 10 in Taipei to mourn victims of the crash.

The ATR72-600 turboprop passenger plane crashed into the Keelung River in Taipei shortly after takeoff from Songshan Airport at 10:52 a.m on Wednesday.

The exact cause of the crash remains unclear but initial analysis of the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder by the Aviation Safety Council showed the right engine of the plane flashed a warning signal just 37 seconds after takeoff and pilots manually cut the fuel supply to the left engine, leading to a loss of power in both engines before the plane went down.

Thomas Wang, managing director of the ASC, said the pilot announced a "flame-out", which can occur when the fuel supply to the engine is interrupted or when there is faulty combustion. However, Wang said there was in fact no flame-out, and the engine on the right side had shifted into idle mode without any change in oil pressure.

The 72-seater aircraft, an ATR 72-600 manufactured by Franco-Italian firm ATR, is able to fly or take off with just one functioning engine, said Yann Torres, of France's aviation accident investigation bureau (BEA) who has joined the investigation.

Sunday 8 February 2015

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Divers retrieve more AirAsia bodies, raising total to 100

Indonesian crews pulled out more bodies following last year's crash of an AirAsia jet, raising the total to 100 so far, authorities said Sunday.

Of the 100 bodies recovered, 72 have been identified, police said. Efforts are underway to identify the remaining victims.

AirAsia Flight 8501 plunged into the sea on December 28 as it flew from the Indonesian city of Surabaya toward Singapore. It had 162 people on board.

Divers resumed their attempt to lift up the fuselage of the Airbus jet on Sunday after earlier attempts failed.

Indonesian divers have recovered several more bodies from December's AirAsia crash, including one from the jet's cockpit, bringing the total number of victims retrieved to 100, an official said Saturday.

Divers on Friday retrieved four bodies, including one from the cockpit, said Henry Bambang Soelistyo, chief of Indonesia's National Search and Rescue Agency. He said the decomposed body — in uniform and still strapped by a seat belt — was believed to be either the pilot, Iriyanto, who like many Indonesians used one name, or French co-pilot Remi Emmanuel Plesel.

Soelistyo said a strong underwater current hampered attempts by divers Saturday to retrieve the other body from the cockpit.

Three more bodies were recovered Saturday, bringing to 100 the number of victims retrieved, Soelistyo told MetroTV.

Some of the bodies were found off Sulawesi island, about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) east of the crash site.

More than 60 divers are taking part in the search, which resumed Jan. 31 following several failed attempts to lift the fuselage from the seabed.

Sunday 8 February 2015

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