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Air Services Ltd. praises emergency response to crash

Air Services Limited (ASL) on Wednesday praised the emergency medical,security and investigative response to Monday’s crash by of one its aircraft in thick vegetation near the Matthew’s Ridge.

“ASL cannot overstate the quality of the responses from all of the agencies who answered the call for immediate assistance.  From the initial response on the ground by the Police at Matthew’s Ridge to the eventual care in the hospitals in Georgetown, and everything in between, we have been given the highest support and service at every stage and are deeply appreciative,” ASL said in a statement.

The domestic carrier recounted that on Monday, July 15, 2013 a flight chartered by “North West Air Services” and flown by Air Services Ltd (ASL), departed Ogle International Airport  at 7:09am for Mathews-Ridge Airstrip. At approximately 8:15am the Cessna Caravan aircraft  registration 8R-AMS was involved in an accident within a mile from the landing strip.

ASL said it immediately dispatched  Emergency Responders to the scene to assist passengers and crew with efforts  focused on getting the best medical care for those involved  and  we are pleased to have been able to achieve this.  

All 13-persons on board were given initial medical treatment at a triage center at the Matthews Ridge Hospital; 12 were later transferred to other medical facilities in Georgetown.

Although injured, Cpt  Feriel Ally, who has over twenty years of experience ensured that all the passengers disembarked and were accounted for.

Within minutes of the incident, the Matthews Ridge Police Force cordoned off the area, and all involved were taken to the triage center of the  Matthews Ridge Hospital where prompt  medical treatment was delivered  by Doctor Roger  Welch and his Nurses.  Soon after ASL Ogle was updated by Dr Welch on the condition of each patient and based on this information, the patients were then categorized and air transported for further treatment  at GPHC, Balwant  Singh,  Woodlands, and  Mercy Hospitals. This approach was essential in ensuring no one hospital would be overwhelmed by the sudden influx of patients thereby averting any delay in response to the medical needs of each person.

Captain Prem Ramdhani of Trans Guyana Airways, who was co-incidentally on the ground  at Matthew’s Ridge, contacted Captain Ally and flew her and some of the passengers out to Ogle.

Two aircraft were then dispatched from ASL with representatives from  the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA)  as well as the ASL Safety, Quality and Operations Managers. One of these aircraft subsequently brought out the remaining passengers.

Chief Medex Michael Goveia, from the Ministry of Health, and the administrator of Woodlands hospital  ensured the prompt arrival of the ambulances at Ogle   forty  minutes before the aircraft touched down. With this arrangement  all were offloaded from the aircraft into the waiting ambulances.

Captain Ally and all the passengers involved received seamless medical attention throughout and to date, with the exception of Captain Ally and three passengers, all have been discharged.

The Civil Aviation Authority’s investigation is proceeding with the full cooperation of Air Services Limited.

An eyewitness has recalled that several persons had been awaiting the flight at the airstrip  when the aircraft’s engine suddenly died . Passengers and residents, she said, immediately raced to an area called Rail End , located some 15 minutes from the airstrip where the plane was seen sitting among the trees  while passengers crawled out of the wrecked aircraft.