Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Call for independent investigation into the helicopter crash in Freetown

Public released Statement by PDL

The Paramount Airlines Shuttle Helicopter crashed in Freetown, on Sunday June 3rd 2007, killing all people on board.

The Sierra Leone People’s Democratic League (PDL) is not unaware that one mistake rarely causes an aircraft accident. While we believe that it is always a series of events that snowball into disaster, there are as well, many hances to break the chain and prevent disaster. And whenever the chain is broken, no one would notice that disaster is eminent. The same can also be said that, sometimes whenever the chain is broken, we would discover a cause that can and must be corrected to avoid the occurrence of disaster.

The above is exactly what worries the PDL. We are concerned about the actual chain that developed into the deadly crashed of the helicopter in Freetown last Sunday, killing every person on board including highly
placed officials of the Government of the Republic of Togo. The PDL therefore welcome the decision by Government of Togo to send a team of investigators to  Sierra Leone to find the whole truth surrounding the
cause of the Helicopter accident in Freetown, which led to the death of Hon. Atipe Kwako, the Republic of Togo Minister of Sports and others on board the

Such investigation is necessary and warranting, because the circumstances leading to the crash was and still not clear as to whether it is a sabotage or
accident, or even negligence.

From what people who were at the scene of the crash said, it is enough to catalogue the evidential information, which suggests that, the Paramount Airlines Shuttle Helicopter suffered an on-board fire and a massive loss of power before it crashed. That is to assume that the fire may have been associated with an in-flight detonation from an explosive or incendiary device.

It has to be proven beyond all doubts that the crash was due to mechanical failure and not sabotage. Sierra Leone is not at war for anyone to presume that the crash was "the result of anti-aircraft munitions. It would have been easy for any experts to conclude that the said shuttle helicopter came down as a result of anti-aircrafts if the crash had occurred in the East where the Guinean forces of aggression are bent on causing mayhem against our citizens.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those who died in the crash.