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NEWS  

Sierra Leone Consoles Guinea over Military Hierarchy's death in Plane Crash in Liberia
By Augustine Samba
Feb 13, 2013, 17:16
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President of Sierra Leone has sent a high-powered delegation from State House to console the Government and people of neighbouring Guinea. Liberia's celebrations of its annual Armed Forces Day turned sour on Monday February 11th 2013 when the Chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Guinea, General Kelefa Diallo, and nine others comprising Guinean military officers and flight crew died in a plane crash near Liberia's Roberts International Airport. The delegation was on its way to take part in the armed forces celebrations.

 

"Distinguished guests, fellow Liberians, kindly remain standing with me, as we observe a moment of silence for our Guinean brothers who lost their lives in a plane crash while en route to this ceremony," were words of President Sirleaf as she arrived at the occassion.


President Johnson-Sirleaf added, "Let me also declare tomorrow, Tuesday, a national working holiday in Liberia for the regrettable and irreparable loss which the deaths, as a result of the plane crash has caused this sub-region."

 

Awareness Times has learnt that the Guinean military plane, a CASA Aircraft (CN-235) with registration 3X-GGG, crashed in Charlesville, Margibi County, about 3 miles from Roberts International Airport (RIA) but the cause of the crash is not yet known. Officials say the flight took off safely from Conakry and at 07:09am, Liberia's Air Traffic Control cleared the plane to land at RIA but the plane never arrived only for residents of Margibi to report horrible crash sounds.

 

The sad scene in Margibi County, Liberia yesterday as mangled corpses were pulled out of the wreckage

 

RIA Firefighters, UN officials and authorities of the Liberia Civil Aviation, Red Cross and medical teams all arrived at the scene but met mangled bodies inside wreckage which were transported to a Liberian mortuary for onward transport back to Guinea.

 

Liberia held the formal event to mark the day but cancelled the dinner and dance which had been organised to commemorate the day. This is the first plane crash in Liberia under Sirleaf. She has expressed "utter shock and regrets".

 

Meanwhile, the high profile delegation sent by President of Sierra Leone and led by Government Spokesman and Information Minister Hon. Alpha Kanu is already in Guinea to extend condolences on behalf of President Koroma and the people of Sierra Leone over the sad & shocking tragedy. Independent journalist Augustine Samba of Awareness Times is accompanying the governments delegation and will report on the trip.


© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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