Friday, 11 May 2007

Indentification of plane crash victims a slow and painful process

The continuing rescue operation for the plane crash in Douala has been a very slow and frustrating process.

As soon as the aircraft disappeared from radars it appears the confusion started straight away, it was only 24 hours later that a co-ordination team was put together.

When that was eventually sorted the team were looking for the plane 248 miles away from where the actual wreckage was found, questioning whether the authorities can actually manage a major crisis.

One investigator said: "There is too much red tape here. Even when we are faced with a deadline to recover the body parts before they totally decompose,"

Joshua Osih, an aviation consultant in Douala said: "The professionals have been pushed aside in favour of politicians and this has resulted in the mission delays. Despite the urgency of the task, the crisis committee has failed to assemble the appropriate equipment for search operations - even though air force helicopters are readily available in Cameroon”

Human parts that can make up seventy-six bodies had been recovered by Wednesday evening.

Forensic experts from the UK have been flown in to help with the grim process of identifying bodies. But the process of identifying the victims remains difficult.

The crash has been seen as a wake up call for Cameroon’s authorities to assemble a more professional and well equipped team ready to cope with such disasters.

"Going by what happened to the plane it's clear that however rapid the authorities were no lives would have been saved, but we should learn from these mistakes and improve for the future."

Lets hope for everybody’s sake that they do.

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