Thursday, August 20, 2020

AI Express Calicut crash evidence tampered with?

Mumbai: The Air India Express Calicut accident site was not secured and evidence may have been displaced, tampered with and destroyed, said Capt Amit Singh, an air safety expert, in a letter sent to the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) this week. He based his observation on photographs and videos shot by the media at the crash site, about three hours after the accident.

On August 7, an AIX aircraft from Dubai overshot the Calicut runway on landing and dropped off the table-top runway, killing 18 people, including both the pilots.

The video showed a person dressed in military fatigues positioned outside the aircraft cockpit. He points to something inside the cockpit, while another person, who is inside the cockpit, hands over what appears to be a document, to the person outside, who in turn, hands over the document to a third person, said the letter, sent to the MoCA secretary, seeking a probe into the matter. “It might be a key evidence. A judicial probe must be initiated to carry out an unbiased investigation,’’ said Capt Singh.

Speaking to TOI, Capt Singh said that he spoke to the media channels concerned and found out that the said clip was shot at 10.37pm, about three hours after the crash. The Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) team reached Calicut only at 5am the next day.

The photographs “undoubtedly capture a scene of alleged tampering and destruction of evidence from the aircraft cockpit”, he said . If indeed that is what has happened, then the act, considered criminal in nature, is punishable under the Indian Penal Code, he said.
20/08/20 Times of India
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