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Cyprus President: air crash investigations are on the right track
2005-09-06 12:57:48

Larnaca, Sep 5 (CNA) Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos said the government is on the right track with regard to the investigations aiming at finding the cause of last month's crash of an Helios Airways Boeing 737, that killed all 121 people on board.

Papadopoulos stressed that the government is determined to get to the bottom of this tragedy and see where responsibility lies, to meet public demand.

Head of the Greek Investigating Commission on Air Accidents and Incidents Akrivos Tsolakis, speaking on departure from Cyprus, said Commission members had gathered enough information and vowed before the Cyprus people that they will spare no effort to answer all the questions relating to this tragic accident in order to find the cause or the possible cause.

He thanked Papadopoulos, Communications amd Works Minister Haris Thrasou and the members of the Cypriot Commission investigating the crash, the families of the victims and the media.

President Papadopoulos said that Tsolakis had promised to give him as soon as possible an interim report, indicating the areas in which responsibilities should be sought, adding that it is too soon to judge who is responsible. The courts will deal with whatever punishment may be called for, he added.

''The government has dealt with the issue in the appropriate manner, with attention and caution,'' the President said, adding that the role and the responsibility of the government lie in the way it carries out the investigations and this is how it should be judged.

Tsolakis said the Commission was returning to Athens to coordinate the next steps, noting that the first results will be known after six months. He announced that he will be heading to London in the middle of the week and said that a reconstruction of the fatal flight on August 14 that crashed near Athens will take place about 20 days later.

Responding to questions, Tsolakis said three weeks after the air crash investigations lead to different directions and at present it is too early for the Commission to follow any one of them.

''These directions are gradually being reduced but it would be flippant on my part, at this stage, to point to one or another cause for the air crash,'' he concluded.

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