- Title: VENEZUELA: LOOTERS RANSACK PLANE CRASH SITE
- Date: 30th January 2001
- Summary: CIUDAD BOLIVAR, VENEZUELA (JANUARY 28, 2001) (REUTERS) 1. SLV CRASH SCENE; SLV/SCU PEOPLE DIGGING THROUGH CRASH SCENE (4 SHOTS) 0.30 2. SLV /MV HOUSE HIT BY PLANE (3 SHOTS) 0.47 3. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) ELBA HAGER, FORENSIC INVESTIGATOR AND SPOKESPERSON, SAYING "We understand according to the passenger list that there are people from different nationalities, including Dutch. The Dutch along with representatives from other countries involved in this investigation will bring to the public ministry a series of dental x-ray materials to help identify the corpses. Basically, that is the objective of the Dutch delegation - to give these materials. The Dutch are not at all taking from the work being done by the Venezuelan authorities." 1.33 5. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) CARLO BRAVO, SISTER OF CRASH VICTIM, SAYING "It is indignant to see how the Venezuelan government has cars here instead of sending the much needed supplies to be able to identify the bodies. If it weren't for the Dutch we'd be sitting here with our arms crossed." 2.15 6. MV DUTCH FORENSIC DOCTOR; SLV RESCUE WORKERS TALKING (2 SHOTS) 2.29 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Reuters ID: LVAE96RTOE2EBTEPFMUO34MV59QG
- Location: CIUDAD BOLIVAR, VENEZUELA
- Country: Venezuela
- Duration: 00:02:29
- Story Text: Looters have ransacked a Venezuelan plane crash site
as local and international investigators worked together to
identify the victims.
The scene of Thursday's (January 25) plane crash in
Venezuela was filled with looters on Sunday (January 28) as
Venezuelan and international investigators concentrated on the
arduous task of identifying the victims.
Residents of the shantytown scoured the crash site in
search of souvenirs and anything else of value.
Meanwhile Venezuelan and Dutch doctors used dental
records and information on bone sizes to try to identify the
charred remains of 24 people, mainly foreign tourists, who
died on board the DC-3 plane that slammed into a slum in the
southern town of Ciudad Bolivar.
"The Dutch along with representatives from other
countries involved in this investigation will bring to the
public ministry a series of dental x-ray materials to help
identify the corpses," said forensic investigator, Elba Hager.
The 18 foreign tourists who died included three U.S.
citizens, three Canadians, five Dutch, four Italians, two
Hungarians and one Austrian.
Carlo Bravo, the sister of one of the crash victims
expressed relief that the Dutch were involved in the forensic
"It is indignant to see how the Venezuelan government has
cars here instead of sending the much needed supplies to be
able to identify the bodies. If it weren't for the Dutch we'd
be sitting here with our arms crossed," she said.
The six Venezuelans on board the ageing aircraft,
including three crew members, were also killed when Rutaca
Airlines flight 224 plunged from the sky as it tried to return
to Ciudad Bolivar airport shortly after takeoff about 6 p.m.
(5 p.m. EST / 2200 GMT) on Thursday.
The U.S.-built Douglas DC-3 was at least 50 years old, and
was carrying close to its limit of passengers, an airport
official said. The aircraft had no black box flight recorder.
It was returning from the well-known tourist destination
of Canaima, near the site of the world's tallest waterfall,
Angel Falls, to the Caribbean holiday island of Margarita.
The pilot had just taken off at dusk after refuelling in
Ciudad Bolivar, about 300 miles (482 kilometres) southeast of
Caracas, when he contacted the control tower to say that he
was turning back. He had said there was no serious problem.
But as the plane was returning to the airport, its motors
failed and it plunged into the shantytown about 2 miles (3
kilometres) short of the runway. Some witnesses said smoke was
already pouring from its engines as it fell.
A 22-year-old woman and her two children, who were
engulfed in flames when the burning wreckage smashed into
their shack, were still being treated for severe burns.
Doctors said the woman's 6-month-old child had little chance
The crash raised concerns about the South American
nation's ageing commercial air fleet. The government
immediately grounded all 33 DC-3 planes in Venezuela and
ordered Rutaca to cease operations while it investigated the
cause of the crash.
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