|How many more such defective planes ply our airport ?
DOES THE SLPP GOVT . HAVE THE PEOPLE’S INTERESTS AT HEART ?
By KABS KANU :
It is standard procedure in all countries that whenever there is a human calamity, the government comments on it and/or moves speedily to sympathize with the victims. This is especially so when a plane takes off from a country and crashes within that country’s borders.
The government usually sends aviation experts to visit the accident scene and the President or his representatives usually meet with the victims or their families, if there are no survivors. A plane crash is treated more seriously by governments , because by its very nature, there are hardly survivors and there is always the dire need to launch a thorough and meticulous investigation to discover the causes of the crash in an attempt to stave off future occurences.
The government of the other nationals from Guinea and the Gambia whose citizens were among the victims of Wednesday August 11, 2004’s plane crash in Freetown honored the protocol and sent planes to take away their citizens for treatment .
It is a disappointment and a shame to know that since the crash, the Sierra Leone government has neither made an official comment on the crash or visited any of the victims presently languishing in various hospitals in the capital. The victims have waited in vain for the government to intercede and at least send representatives to console them and assure them that the cause of the crash will be investigated.
The fact that , unlike most other plane crashes, the passengers on this aircraft survived with minor injuries is not an excuse for the government to have treated the matter so lackadaisically. From the way Dr. Sylvia Blyden , one of the victims, narrated the accident, it was not a minor incident. But for the grace of God, 126 people, including our own citizens, could have been killed , their mangled and burnt bodies laid out for all to weep over and lament the event for life. Families would have lost their loved ones and nations would have been mourning the deaths of valued citizens.
It could have a typical aviation disaster with no survivors , but as God would have it, one of the engines fell off the plane at midair, thus reducing the possibility of a catastrophic explosion that could have engulfed survivors . Secondly, the plane was cushioned by the forest and swamp into which it crashed. Inspite of that , the passengers suffered excruciating trauma and shock as it is a crippling experience to be in a plane crash. They should have been consoled for this predicament by their government, at least for them to know there was official concern for their welfare.
Worse still is the fact that by the government’s silence and inaction, there will be no investigation for the official causes of the accident, although it is a known fact that the plane crashed because Air Guinea has no good reputation for maintaining safe aircrafts. Even before the plane was sold off to a private individual, it did not undergo routine repairs or safety checks, from the information at our disposal. As a matter of fact, it was the second time within a short time that a plane from Guinea had crashed at Lungi.
The government’s silence and lack of concern that a plane mishap occured within her borders, also gives the public the impression that their government does not care for the safety of her citizens. The government, seemingly, is not bothered by the quality of the planes that land and take off from her airport. For all the government knows ,there might be many more “lemons” ( Chronically defective planes) flying into and from her airport at incalculable risk to the lives of her citizens and other passengers using her airport.
The SLPP government cannot afford to be so nonchallant with the lives of her people. The administration was voted into power to pursue the interests of the people. If it cannot perform such a simple duty as to comment on a plane crash or officially visit the victims, of what use is this government, really ?