Separate investigations launched into SLAF plane crash

Separate investigations launched into SLAF plane crash

Written by Bella Dalima

13 Dec, 2014 | 8:01 pm

After Friday’s tragic plane crash involving a Sri Lanka Air Force aircraft in Hokandara, the Sri Lanka Air Force and the Civil Aviation Authority have launched separate investigations.

SLAF Chief of Staff, Air Vice Marshall Gagan Bulathsinhala said that the investigation report of the Special SLAF Investigative Team will be handed over to the Air Force Commander in the future.

On Friday morning, an Antonov AN32 aircraft of the Sri Lanka Air Force crashed into a rubber plantation located down Wanaguru Mawatha in Hokandara killing four servicemen including the pilot and co-pilot.

Locals whose quick response to the crash resulted in the rescue of one serviceman -after a valiant effort and a battle with the blaze.

News 1st obtained footage recorded by a resident, moments after the crash happened.

Locals were seen in a tremendous task to contain and douse the blaze even when the fire and rescue teams reached the location.

The crash site was once again investigated by the authorities on Saturday and several parts of the debris were taken away by the Sri Lanka Air Force for further investigations.

Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority M.M.C. Nimalsiri said that the CAA will conduct a complete investigation on the operations of the Air Traffic Control Centre when the SLAF aircraft crashed.

The Sri Lanka Air Force has also requested all the details of property damages caused by the crash be reported to the police.

Even today, locals praised the valiant effort made by the pilot to steer the plane away from the houses in the area.

The remains of the Captain of the aircraft, Squadron Leader A.M. Wasantha Abeywardena has been taken to his residence in Walpola, Ibbagamuwa.

Thirty-three-years of age at the time of his demise, the Late Wasantha Abeywardena had tied the knot over a month ago.

The body of Co – Pilot, Flight Lieutenant A. A. Dhanuka Tharanga Amaratunge currently lies at his house in Horana. Twenty-nine-years-old at the time of his death, Flight Lieutenant Amaratunge was a father of two.

His funeral will take place tomorrow.

Flight Sergeant M. W. Lalith Priyantha who also perished in the tragic crash was a thirty-nine-year-old. His final rites will be performed on Monday.

Corporal W.W. Amila Nuwan Wijeratne also died in the crash. His remains have been placed at his residence in Pothanegama, Anuradhapura. He was a thirty-year-old father of a three year old daughter.

The Leading Aircraftman who survived the crash continues to receive treatment at the ICU of the National Hospital in Colombo.

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