Three people have died after the crash of a twin-engine plane at Antigua’s airport.
FlyMontserrat CEO Nigel Harris says two passengers and pilot Jason Forbes were killed in the Sunday afternoon crash at V.C. Bird International Airport in Antigua. He says one passenger was critically injured.
The nine-seat Britten-Norman Islander plane with four people aboard was headed from Antigua to Montserrat when it slammed into the ground off a rain-slicked runway seconds after takeoff.
Jamaica’s ministry of foreign affairs confirmed Monday that one of the dead passengers was Jamaican schoolteacher, Annya Duncan, who worked in Montserrat and was to be treated to a surprise 29th birthday party by friends who eagerly awaiting her arrival at John Osborne Airport in Montserrat.
While Sandrama Poligadu, 57, got on a plane for the first time ever Sunday morning from her native Guyana to Antigua – before boarding flight 107 from Antigua to Montserrat to meet her daughter who is hospitalized with a complicated pregnancy.
Captain Jason Forbes spent his last hours alive with family, watching West Indies triumph in the World Twenty/20 championships and then left to fly three people to Montserrat where he was set to meet his pregnant wife Florisca. But the flight he captained never made it there.
British visitor Michael Hudson, the lone survivor of the crash, remains in critical condition at Mount St John Medical Centre at press time.
Meanwhile, Government officials in Montserrat are preparing to offer assistance to the grief-stricken families who lost their loved ones in Sunday’s fatal plane crash at the VC Bird International Airport.
Civil Aviation Minister on the emerald isle, Kirnon Charles, has stated that counseling would be offered to family members who were awaiting the arrival of flight 107 only to hear of its demise.
“The tourism minister will be spearheading this effort as we seek to identity the family members so that they will be able to get counselling on how to deal with this disaster,” the minister said.
He said this would be continued until the relatives are able to properly cope with their grief.
According to Charles, the small community has bonded together upon hearing the news about the aircraft and the souls on-board.
“The churches are already rallying with their praise and people on the radio station since yesterday were offering best wishes to the families and all that, so you have that kind of support as a community,” Charles added.
The nine-seater Britten Norman Islander Registration VP-MON destined for Montserrat suffered damage to the underbelly and one wing.
It’s the second incident for the downed aircraft. The first happened in April last year. (Antigua Observer)