Categorized | National News

Three Die In Mayaguana Plane Crash

Former Free National Movement (FNM) Blue Hills MP, Sidney Collie lost three of his family members in that fatal plane crash in Mayaguana yesterday.

The deceased have been identified as Collie’s mother 81-year-old Edith Barnes-Collie and his sister and brother-in-law, Enamae and Tim Polowick.

Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade told reporters yesterday that the incident reportedly occurred around 1:00 a.m. at the Mayaguana Airport as airport officials, residents and volunteers used their vehicle lights to assist an emergency aircraft in landing.

“The nine-seater twin engine aircraft was reportedly en route to Mayaguana to collect a male patient when one of its wings reportedly collided with a F-150 truck driven by a female,” he said.

“The plane reportedly spun out of control which resulted in it colliding with a second truck, which was occupied by the victims. At present, police can confirm that the bodies of the victims have all been flown into New Providence including the patient needing medical attention.”

The Bahama Journal understands that the plane was occupied by two men and one woman and was extensively damaged; however, none of people were injured during the accident.

Commissioner Greenslade said Assistant Commissioner of Police, Stephen Seymour is leading the investigations along with Civil Aviation Department officials and others.

Minister of Transport, Glenys Hanna-Martin issued a statement on the crash after which she left New Providence to travel to Mayaguana along with MICAL MP, V. Alfred Gray.

“As previously communicated, an investigative team comprising members of the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) and the Air Accident Prevention and Investigation Unit (AAPIU) of the Civil Aviation Department traveled to Mayaguana at 5:00 [Thursday] morning,” Mrs. Hanna-Martin said.

“At this moment that team is on the ground at the airport in Mayaguana conducting an investigation of the facts and circumstances surrounding this tragic accident. In pursuance of this, witnesses are being interviewed and photographic and other pieces of evidence are being collected.”

She added that the government is committed to ensuring that emergency capacity is installed in all airports nationwide.

“As a result of this commitment and under my tenure as transport minister between 2002 and 2007, solar powered emergency runway lights were installed at 17 Family Island airports,” the minister said.

“This policy initiative eliminated the need for the use of high beam headlights from vehicles to illuminate Family Island airport runways in emergency situations. The Mayaguana Airport is the subject of a Heads of Agreement with the I-Group, a foreign development group which under that agreement were obliged to rehabilitate the airport inclusive of lights and runway resurfacing. That agreement was reviewed by the previous administration for several years and it was only until February 2012 that a revised agreement was finalised between the former government and the I-Group.”

She said as a result of this terrible turn of events, the Ministry of Transport is now intervening to procure the immediate installation of emergency lights in Mayaguana and will install lights in Fresh Creek, Andros and Stella Maris, Long Island.

Prime Minister Perry Christie told reporters the same thing about lighting at airports in the Family Islands.

He said he wished sometimes politics did not come into play with some things so that events like this could be avoided.

“I do want to extend my condolences to the family,” Mr. Christie said.

“Things like this should not happen but my government will work expeditiously to correct this problem.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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