30th anniversary of SA air disaster commemorated

Cape Town, South Africa (PANA) – South Africa on Wednesday commemorated the 30th anniversary of the country’s worst air disaster, remembering when in 1987 a South African Airways (SAA) Helderberg aircraft plunged into the sea near Mauritius, killing all 159 passengers and crew after a fire on board.

Captain Dawid Jacobus Uys, who was on his final flight before retiring, was en route from Taiwan to Johannesburg via the Indian Ocean island when the aircraft lost radio communications.

An extensive salvage operation was mounted to try to recover the flight data recorders, one of which was recovered from a depth of 4,900 metres making it the deepest successful salvage operation ever conducted.

The aircraft's fuselage and cabin interior were partly reassembled in Johannesburg.

The official inquiry, headed by Judge Cecil Margo, was unable to determine the cause of the fire.

This lack of a conclusion led to conspiracy theories being advanced in the following years.
-0- PANA CU/VAO 29Nov2017

29 november 2017 14:42:57




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