Mon, Mar 01, 2004
Shoot-Down Theory "Absolutely Excluded"
Blame human error. Blame technical problems. Blame the weather.
But don't blame terrorists for the crash of a Raytheon Beechcraft
Super King Air last week. The crash killed Macedonian President
Boris Trajkovski and eight others Thursday. Investigators said all
died instantly when the aircraft impacted the ground.
The aircraft went down in bad weather over southern Bosnia. It
was missing for more than 24 hours before the wreckage was spotted
by helicopter Friday. Macedonia's Prime Minister says allied forces
still in Bosnia made critical errors during the SAR effort and in
the subsequent investigation.
"Prime Minister Crvenkovski has expressed his conviction that
from the first day of the investigation immediately after the crash
until now it was accompanied by mistakes from SFOR in the
communication with the public," his office said before Crvenkovski
toured the crash site near the town of Mostar.
But a spokesman for NATO's SFOR (Stabilization Force) said
international troops who were manning the control tower at Mostar,
where the president's flight originated, were there only to help
Bosnia's Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Still, Macedonian and Bosnian officials say SFOR wouldn't let
their aircraft fly in search of the downed president. It was only
late Thursday, after several "wild goose chases" led by SFOR
officials, that the locals were able to get their own SAR aircraft
into the skies. When the King Air wreckage was finally spotted on
Friday, it was spotted by a Bosnian search crew.
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