[Guyana] Soldiers combing dense jungle for missing plane

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[Guyana] Soldiers combing dense jungle for missing plane

Unread post by bimjim » Wed Jan 14, 2015

http://www.stabroeknews.com/2015/news/s ... ing-plane/

[Guyana] Soldiers combing dense jungle for missing plane
JANUARY 14, 2015

Twenty-one Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Special Forces are currently searching dense jungle and treacherous terrain in Region 8 to locate the Britten Norman Islander, which disappeared on December 28, 2014 shortly after takeoff from Mahdia.

A release from the Ministry of Public Works last evening said that three-man teams of soldiers have been deployed to Muruwa and the Siparuni River, two high interest areas, in search of the twin engine Air Services Limited aircraft carrying pilot Nicky Persaud and loader David Bisnauth.

It noted that after four days of aerial examinations, ground searches started. Apart from the Special Forces, the release said that eight Line Cutters from St. Cuthbert’s Mission, 10 Guyana Forestry Commission officers; six persons from the village of Chenapau and five villagers from Karisparu have over time joined the search. It said that extensive searches were undertaken in a large area between the North Fork and Black Water rivers.

In the meantime, it said that two helicopters continue to execute aerial searches.

The aircraft with registration, 8R-GHE, was on a routine flight between Mahdia and Karisparu on December 28. It took off from Mahdia at 11:42 a.m. on December 28, and the last known position via Spot Tracker was 11:44 a.m. The aircraft was estimated to reach Karisparu at 12:00 noon.

When the search in the areas of interests is exhausted a decision will be made to recall troops and call off the search. “When we would have exhausted the coverage based on areas of interest and sightings we will have to decide to formally call it off,” Transport Minister Robeson Benn told Stabroek News yesterday.

Benn assured that “not just yet” would the decision be made since specialized search teams are on the ground scouring areas and it may take several days before their works are completed. He said that a special team was heading to an area of interest yesterday but because of the denseness of the terrain they would not be able to communicate with the centre until sometime later this morning.

Director of Civil Aviation Zulficar Mohammed had told Stabroek News that he remained optimistic that by weekend the searches would see results as the teams were homing in on the areas of interests but to date there has been no such luck for the troops. It is unclear how much of those areas are left to be searched.

Bisnauth’s sister, Nalini Bisnauth, is counting the days, while hoping that the rescue team would find her brother. “It’s two weeks and my brother is nowhere to be found. I’m hoping that they will find him and the pilot,” she said.

Bisnauth said she is getting anxious as the days go by and she believed that the ground team should step up their search. “They are moving too slow to find them. We don’t know if they are injured or if they are dead. If he is dead what will they bring back to me?” she asked. “I am very concerned about his safety and I have all hopes in the creator that he will come back, but at the same time I’m having doubts,” she said.

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