Categorized | National News

Gray Fires Back At FNM Over Runway Crash

The political war of words over last week’s fatal airport runway collision on Mayaguana reached a fever pitch Tuesday as MICAL MP V. Alfred Gray responded to Opposition charges that the government has sought to politicise the issue.

Mr. Gray, who spoke to reporters ahead of the weekly Cabinet meeting, dismissed the claims from Free National Movement (FNM) Chairman Darron Cash, who Sunday accused Mr. Gray and other top government officials of trying to blame the previous administration for the incident.

Mr. Gray accused the FNM using the tragedy to score political points.

“I don’t think the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) has made the plane crash a political matter,” Mr. Gray said. “I would reserve any comments with respect to the plane crash in that the investigations continue and it would not be wise for me to make any comments further than that.

“But certainly, the government has not made it a political matter and if anybody’s doing that it’s the FNM because they have no business in it other than to keep an eye on what is going on until a formal statement is made by the government. I think they are hoping that they will get some political advantage from whatever they do or say.”

Three people died in the collision which occurred early Thursday morning at the Mayaguana Airport.

An emergency aircraft collided with a vehicle that was being used to illuminate the airport’s runway killing all three occupants of the vehicle.

The victims were the mother, sister and brother-in-law of former FNM MP Sidney Collie.

The incident has brought to light the disturbing reality that airports across the country are still functioning this way and both parties have pointed fingers at each other over the lack of progress in improving these facilities.

Mr. Cash accused the government of shirking its responsibilities and not making developing the airports a priority, but Mr. Gray said the FNM too has to be held responsible for stopping the progress that was underway when it was elected to office.

“They have to be willing to take some responsibility for the airport not being completed because when we left office in 2007 the airport and the terminal were under construction,” Mr. Gray said.

“The FNM stopped the progress of that development – stopped it for four years. Anybody who can add or count will know that if that were ongoing for four years, that airport would have been an international airport by now.

“I think it is stupid for the FNM’s chairman to feel that we’re going to lie down and play dead over this issue. It’s an unfortunate issue and the government has to make some very firm decisions on the way forward for that airport and that’s exactly what we will do. But for the FNM to believe that they could wash their hands off as if they did nothing to stop the progress of the Mayaguana airport – that will not happen.”

A preliminary report into the Thursday’s crash suggested that the coordination of the vehicles along the side of the runway may have been the key factor for the collision.

A completed report is expected to be completed in a few weeks.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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