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General News of Friday, 12 January 2007

Source: GNA

Helicopter Crash at Adukrom ...

... contained mortal remains of Air Marshal Otu
Adukrom-Akwapim (E/R), Jan. 12, GNA - A Ghana Air Force helicopter carrying the mortal remains of Air Marshal Michael Akuoko Otu, Former Chief of Defence Staff, from Burma Camp for burial crashed at Adukrom-Akwapim on Friday afternoon and caught fire.

All the 13 passengers and the five crew members on board escaped unhurt but the body was not recovered, a release signed by Colonel E.W. Nibo, Director of the Public Relations Directorate of the Ghana Armed Forces, said.

The incident happened before the full view of a large number of Air Marshall Otu's family members, mourners and dignitaries, who had gathered at the Adukrom Methodist Park to receive the body. The GAF said it had dispatched a preliminary investigation team to Adukrom to determine the probable cause of the accident.

According to eye witness account the aircraft almost landed on a park in front of the Adukrom Police Station but the rotors generated so much dust that the Pilot was forced to go up again.

It grazed the church building of the Adukrom Apostolic Church of Ghana; hit a communication mast belonging to TIGO and a nearby tree before coming down and moments later burst into flames.

On Friday morning, the body of the Former Air Force Commander was laid in state at Burma Camp where pre-burial service was held for him. A family spokesperson for the Otu Family of Adukrom, Major Kwabena Adu Otu (rtd) said the arrangements made for the burial of the Air Marshall Otu would proceed as planned.

He said the Military pathologist on the scene would retrieve the ashes of Air Marshall Otu, prepare it and put it in a casket for the funeral on Saturday.

Major Otu said, although the incident was unfortunate, the family and the Military High Command had agreed that the funeral should proceed as scheduled.

Wake would be kept to be followed with burial service at the Adukrom Bethel Presbyterian Church on Saturday before internment at a family vault at Adukrom on the same day. control and there was no need to panic.

The large crowd that gathered at the scene earlier had begun dispersing whiles the Military was also seen picking the debris.


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