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Cause of Crash Probed with Questioning of Survived Chinese Pilot

Cause of Crash Probed with Questioning of Survived Chinese Pilot

Posted April. 17, 2002 09:12,   


The investigation on causes of the accident and dealing with the aftermath began earnestly as Korean and Chinese investigative teams jointly took on-site inspection on April 16, the second day of the Chinese passenger airplane crash.

The task force mainly composed of the members of the Korean Civil Aviation Board (KCAB) of the Ministry of Construction and Transportation (MOCT) and Chinese `4.15 emergency rescue team` took a first joint investigation by inspecting the crash site and the wreckages of the airplane at Mt. Dotdae in Jinae-Dong Kimhae-Si South Kyoungsang Province in the morning of the second day.

Relatives of the on board passengers also organized a task committee to take measures on handling the aftermath and compensation issues.

Investigation on the causes of accident: A total of 30 investigative members of the Korean investigative team, headed by director of the accident investigation division Choi Heung-Ok, and related Chinese investigative team including the president of Air China International Wangkaiwian launched an intensive investigation at the crash site in the morning of the second day of the crash.

They have drawn a diagram, describing locations of the scattered airplane wreckages to calculate the flight direction and recovered essential parts of the passenger airplane. After that, they met the 31-year-old chief pilot Wu Xinglu and crews of the crashed airplane, who were admitted to Kimhae Seongmo Hospital, to hear the weather and airplane conditions at the time of the accident.

Representatives of Korean side, the director general of the aviation bureau of MOCT Ham Dae-Young, and of Chinese side, the chief of the Chinese Civilian Aviation Bureau Lan Baoh, met at the emergency task headquarters located in Kimhae City in the morning of the day and agreed on to cooperate with each other to illuminate the causes of the accident and to handle the aftermath.

Task committees of both sides agreed to relocate the black box belonging to the crashed aircraft to the research center of MOCT at Kimpo Airport where a black box decipher is installed and start analyzing the black box on April 18 immediately after the arrival of an investigative team of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) on April 17.

A related person of the Busan district prosecution office who participated at today`s investigation said, `The causes of the accident may be precisely known only after the completion of questioning of the captain and deciphering of the black box.`

Handling the aftermath: Policemen, soldiers, and firefighters who temporarily suspended the search operation due to the inclement weather condition at the night of April 15 resumed the searches for missing persons and recovering the remains of the passenger by deploying 2,3000 rescuer to the crash site.

The rescue team is expanding the surveillance range since it is believed the missing persons may be tossed out in great distance or the remaining bodies may be greatly disfigured with explosions.

The rescued survivors are being treated in 30 hospitals in Busan and South Kyounsang Province, but the number of survivors reduced to 38 as an injured person known only Ms. Ha (57 years old) died in the morning of the second day. As of 5 P.M. of the day, the number of the dead rose to 122, and six persons are reportedly missing.

Scenes of Relatives: The victims` family members have held a series of meetings in the annex building of Kimhae city administration in the morning of the day and selected Kim Kyu-Yong as leader of the task force and twelve task members, and discussed the after-accident measures.

The relatives began to carefully scan the pictures of dead bodies placed in hospital mortuary in the afternoon after demanding the MOCT officials to let them see the pictures of the dead bodies so that they may identify the dead bodies. The relatives are scheduled to look around the crash site in the morning of April 17. The task committee had also contacted with Chinese side for the first time.

However, there was no progress in establishing joint incense burner site and funeral issues since the relatives and the authorities could not close their different opinions.

Hoon Lee silent@donga.com · dreamland@donga.com