Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Helicopter crash...

Hard to believe that a helicopter I’ve been in, crashed yesterday, killing 22 people.

At about 2030 hours a Paramount helicopter burst into flames as it was landing at Lungi airport. Most of the passengers were Togolese, including the Togo’s Sports Minister, who had come to Freetown to watch an African Nations Cup qualifier. Only the co-pilot survived and is said to be in critical condition.

Paramount is one of the two helicopter services that shuttles passengers between Freetown and Lungi International airport; a 7 minute flight. We always knew it wasn’t the safest mode of transport; the helicopters are old Russian models and by the looks of it not well maintained, but there are few other options- one being the ferry- which is often overcrowded. Every time I had to take a helicopter it made me nervous, now I know why.

Fortunately we were not directly affected by the crash. It’s a scary thought though as we had 6 Mercy Ships people coming and going today on various flights, 2 of which were my parents returning from a surprise visit to Holland. Also scary because the heliport on this side of the bay is adjacent to our Aberdeen Clinic. Thank God the helicopter didn't crash on our centre.

My sympathy goes out to those who lost loved ones yesterday...

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~ Act Justly. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly. micah 6:8 ~