Fwd = [Sky-1] Ireland fails to solve 1968 mystery air crash
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Originally from: Skyone@egroups.com
Original Subject: [Sky-1] Digest Number 339
Original Date: 5 Jul 2000 09:28:35 -0000
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Date: Tue, 4 Jul 2000 14:26:08 EDT
Subject: Ireland fails to solve 1968 mystery air crash
Ireland fails to solve 1968 mystery air crash
By Tony Roddam
DUBLIN, July 4 (Reuters) - Ireland said on Tuesday it would ask
international experts to try to solve the riddle of its worst air
disaster, the 1968 Tuskar Rock crash which killed 61 people, after its
own investigation failed to find the cause.
Since Aer Lingus flight 712 from Cork to London plunged into the sea off
the southeast coast of Ireland, there have been accusations of a cover up
and allegations it was accidentally hit by a British missile, something
London has denied.
On Tuesday, relatives of the victims were left no wiser after the eagerly
anticipated official report gave no fresh clues as to why the crash
``Unfortunately, we still do not know what caused the accident -- in fact
we may never know -- but I am not prepared to let this matter rest now,''
Public Enterprise Minister Mary O'Rourke told a news conference.
O'Rourke said she hoped the new investigators, one of whom has expertise
in Viscount air crashes, would cast fresh light on the evidence.
She named them as Colin Torkington, an Australian, and Yves Le Mercier
from France, and said she hoped they would report their findings by the
end of November.
O'Rourke was speaking as her department released the results of its
18-month review. The report had been delayed for several months as
investigators sifted through documentary evidence.
Echoing the original accident report of 1970, this latest investigation
failed to conclude what caused the crash in March 1968 but contained some
O'Rourke said she was ``deeply disturbed'' the original report did not
contain information about missing aircraft maintenance files from Aer
Lingus although the report concluded there was no connection between the
missing paperwork and the accident.
The report also criticised the original investigation for failing to
examine adequately reasons for the crash other than the possibility of a
mid-air collision or near collision.
The 1970 report sparked controversy after it speculated the plane, a
four-engined Viscount turboprop, could have been hit by an airborne object
before plunging 17,000 feet into the sea.
ACCIDENT HAS OVERSHADOWED ANGLO-IRISH RELATIONS
The accident has cast a shadow over Anglo-Irish relations for more than
O'Rourke acknowledged the British government's assistance in trying to
help relatives and noted its continued denial of any military
involvement. Britain welcomed her comments.
``We hope that our contribution will help to underline the fact that the
tragedy was nothing to do with the United Kingdom. The relatives of those
who died are in our thoughts,'' the British Embassy in Dublin said.
Despite the report's criticism of Aer Lingus, the airline welcomed the
move to bring in independent investigators.
``While today's review does not indicate the probable cause of the
accident...we believe the interests of all concerned are best served by a
new independent study by a third party,'' the soon-to-be-privatised
Of four crew and 57 passengers, comprising Irish, British, Belgians, Swiss
and Americans, only 14 bodies were recovered. The wreckage lies some 250
feet under water, making retrieval operations difficult.
There has been speculation that some bodies were taken away or left on the
seabed because they would show evidence of an explosion. Authorities say
the rescue operations were unable to retrieve more and the accident
report says there was no evidence of fire or explosion in the salvaged
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