Pathologists, coroners hampered Associated Airlines’ crash report release – AIB | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Pathologists, coroners hampered Associated Airlines’ crash report release – AIB

Posted: Apr 7, 2015 at 6:30 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Abel Orukpe  / Correspondent, Lagos


The Commissioner of Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), Dr. Felix Abali blamed pathologists and coroners for delay in making public, the final report of the Associated Airline’s crash of  October 3, 2013 in Lagos that killed 16 of the 20 passengers onboard.

Dr. Felix Abali

Dr. Felix Abali

Abali said AIB is unable to submit the final reports on the crash because pathologists and coroners handling the Associated Airline’s crash have not submitted their finall reports on the crash to AIB. But he said that air transportation remains the safest mode of transport worldwide, despite the several loss of lives in air accidents recorded in the sector.

Abali however said that air accident cannot be eradicated in the industry, but can be reduced to the barest minimum. “Aviation industry is safe globally and will always be safe. Till now except the one that happened over Ukraine that the people know the cause of it, the other two or three, we don’t know the causes yet and I think in accident investigation, it is not always right to speculate. It doesn’t do the industry any good and it will not enhance safety in the system. Until the black boxes are discovered and the true causes of the accidents are known, we won’t be able to comment much on them.”

The Commissioner of AIB said in an interview at the agency’s head office at the international wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos yesterday, that if the challenges associated with pathologists and coroners handling the Associated Airline’s crash had been resolved, there wouldn’t have been any delay.

He said it would be unprofessional for AIB to go ahead to release the final report of its investigation without looking critically into the inputs of pathologists and coroners. He assured that despite the delays, the challenges would be resolved very soon.

As part of efforts to resolve the challenges, Abali said AIB was currently working with a major pathologist in the country, who has connections with some of the hospitals in different states across the country.

“Accident as you know could be caused by a lot of factors. Assuming that one of the crewmembers was drunk, how do you determine this? It is through pathological reports that you can know the true state of health of such crewmember. If we don’t have such information then, the report is incomplete. We cannot go and publish something and leave out some aspects,” he said.

He said AIB try to come to an understanding with pathologists, saying they have been trying to sign Memorandum of Understanding,(MoU) with them.

He recalled that AIB released its preliminary report on the Associated Airlines Embraer 120 aircraft with registration number 5N-BJY, when it said that information has been determined from preliminary readout and analysis of flight 361’s flight recorders and that flight 361 was equipped with both a Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) and a Flight Data Recorder (FDR).

Both recorders, AIB, said were replayed at the agency’s flight recorder laboratory located in Abuja.