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Updated: Soldiers moving in on aircraft wreckage; status of persons expected in coming hours

Last Updated on Saturday, 26 December 2015, 21:00 by GxMedia

GCCA Head Zulficar Mohamed during a briefing Sunday

An aviation official says Special Forces soldiers are moving into the area where the wreckage of the plane that went down Saturday morning was seen and they hope to know the status of the two persons who were aboard in the coming hours.

“They’re now on the ground and they’re moving towards the site,” said GCAA Director General Zulficar Mohamed Sunday afternoon. Based on aerial photography, the search and rescue team has determined that the wings of the  single-engine Cessna Caravan “off but the fuselage seems to be somewhat intact. We don’t know what has happened inside,” he added.  There was no evidence of smoke or fire based on photographic evidence.

Two Special Forces personnel inserted were said to be one mile from the site and are to prepare a clearing for a helicopter to land with more troops and medical personnel who will then form a party to head to the site. With the two soldiers already on the ground, the Search and Rescue Coordinating Committee is expected to know the status of Canadian pilot, Blake Slater and Guyanese Cargo Loader, Dwayne Newton before sunset. “Before night-fall, we are hoping that we will have some information on the status of the personnel on board the aircraft,” said Mohamed.

Additional medical personnel and civil aviation investigators are to go in at first light Monday morning.  There were no reports of smoke or fire at the site Mohamed said.

The military and medical team have been instructed to first extract the Slater and Newton who were the only persons aboard the Trans Guyana Aviation (TGA) aircraft Saturday morning.

The GCAA Director General said that once the men have been extracted the site would be secured for investigators to conduct their probe. “The site will be secured for the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority inspectors  to have first access-they will take over the site- for investigaton purposes. This security of the site is to ensure that the site is not contaminated so that you have full access to the site and all that is there in its current states,” he said.

The Search and Rescue Coordinating Committee said in a statement that at 12:34 (Guyana Time) the wreckage of 8R-GHS was spotted 2.6NM south south west on a heading of 235 degrees from Olive Creek (N061016.5W600957) by the personnel aboard a GDF helicopter. “The site is not accessible by helicopter.
The densely forested terrain has made access to the site a lengthy process,” said the committee in a statement.