Two pilots and at least three flight attendants were among the 35 victims whose personal belongings were stolen by fire-fighters two Fridays ago when a Fly Jamaica plane crash landed at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA).
Twelve firemen have since been placed on bail and were all interdicted from their duties to allow investigators to conduct a thorough probe.
This morning, the Guyana Standard was reliably informed that investigators from the Brickdam Police Station went to the CJIA to take additional statements from the pilot, co-pilot and the affected flight attendants.
The other passengers have already provided the ranks with their statements. A police source indicated that some of the stolen items include a diamond ring, cash and mostly phones, IPad and other gadgets.
Some of the items have already been recovered. They were found when a search was carried out on the two fire tenders that went to the scene.
According to the police source, when the pilot announced that he was turning the plane around, the fire-fighters were immediately notified. When the plane crash landed, they sprayed water to keep the engine cool in an effort to avoid it from bursting into flames.
The Guyana Standard was informed that when the passengers evacuated the aircraft, the firemen went in. It was during this time that they reportedly took the opportunity to look through the passengers’ bags.
“When the passengers went into the lounge, the pilots and the flight attendants waited on the tarmac. So when the fire fighters were done from inside the plane, they (flight crew) went in to safeguard the passengers’ personal items,” a police source said.
The source added, “When they got inside, they saw all the bags were open and items were on the floor. When they went for their things, they were gone. So that’s when they called the police and the firemen were prevented from leaving the scene.”
The Boeing 757-200 plane—destined for Toronto, Canada included one American, 82 Canadians, 35 Guyanese, one Pakistani and one Trinidadian when it crash landed. One passenger has since lost her life after suffering from a fractured skull.
Public Infrastructure Minister, David Patterson had confirmed that about 20 minutes after the plane departed Guyana, the pilot reported a hydraulic problem and requested permission to return and land on the airstrip.
Upon landing, the Guyana Standard was told that the plane’s brakes reportedly failed, causing the aircraft to crash land.
Director of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Egbert Field, has confirmed that the black box of the Fly Jamaica aircraft—that crash landed—will be sent to the United States for decoding. This will help the authorities to understand what caused the accident.