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General News of Sunday, 3 June 2012

Source: GNA

President Mills visits scene of Boeing 727 crash in Accra

President John Atta Mills on Sunday morning visited the scene of accident of a Boeing 727 cargo plane that crashed at the Hajj Village near the El Wak Stadium in Accra, reported to have so far claimed 12 lives.

He expressed sympathy to the bereaved families of the passengers on the 207 Mercedes Benz that was mangled by the back tyres of the flight and others, including military officer, who lost their lives in melee.

Looking crestfallen, President Mils, accompanied by Senior Government officials, toured the scene and inspected the extent of damage.

He gave the assurance of the necessary Government intervention.

Four people out of the 12 dead have been identified as Gideon Ansah Kumi, 19, a final year student of Harvard Senior High School At Accra New Town; George Osei, 33, Driver of the 207 bus; Kwame Boadu, 24, the mate; and Evans Tabariyeng 34, passenger on board.

The bodies have been deposited at the 37 Military Hospital Mortuary in Accra.

All four crew members on the cargo plane were safely evacuated and are receiving treatment at Airport Clinic.

Eyewitnesses said the flight was attempting to land at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra on Saturday, but slammed into the bus loaded with passengers on a nearby street and claimed the lives of all the 10 passengers on the bus.

The Kotoka International Airport is located near newly built high-rise buildings and hotels. Witnesses said the plane first smashed through the fence that runs around the airport before hitting the bus.

Security agents, including police and soldiers quickly cordoned off the neighbourhood where the plane crashed.

Airport officials said the plane, an Allied (Air) Cargo travelling from Nigeria to Ghana, over-shot the runway and went off onto the roadside.

Mr Kofi Portuphy, National Co-ordinator of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), who was at the scene of the accident, assured Ghanaians and the international community that Ghana, is prepared for swift response to such happenings.

He also commended the security agencies at the Airport for applying the knowledge acquired in the simulation exercise that the Organisation organised last February, adding that NADMO had built an emergency response centre in the Airport.

Mr. Portuphy urged other institutions to team up with NADMO to build similar centres.

Meanwhile, Mrs Doreen Owusu-Fianko, the Chief Executive of the Ghana Airport Company said that operations at the airport had returned to normal after the crash on Saturday.

A committee to investigate the crash is to be reactivated by Alhaji Collins Dauda, Minister of Transport.**

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