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Tsolakis at the Grammatikos site after remains located
2006-08-11 13:26:44

Nicosia, Aug 11 (CNA) -- Head of the Greek Air Accident and Incidents Investigating Committee Akrivos Tsolakis visited on Friday the site of the Helios air crash near Athens, following reports that the remains of persons missing since the crash were located.

The remains were found in the last week under the Helios airways Boeing 737 which crashed on 14 August 2005 on its way to Prague, via Athens, into the Grammatikos mountain side north of the Greek capital, killing 121 passengers and crew on board, most of them Cypriots going on holiday. The Boeing came down as two Greek F-16 were accompanying it after it failed to respond to calls from Athens control tower.

Tsolakis went to the Grammatikos site to oversee the collection of the remains of two women and a man which were found under one of the aircraft?s wings, which was embedded in a gorge.

He said he went to the site for purely humanitarian reasons, to oversee the moving of the remains to the Athens Mortuary where DNA tests will be carried out. He said that the remains possibly belong to the three passengers still missing a year on. They are Michalis and Kaliopi Constantinou, aged 54 and 49 respectively, and Andriana Chrysanthou, 63, all of Cypriot origin.

Tsokalis said that early September the report of the Committee on the cause of the tragic air crash will be ready.

Meanwhile, 190 relatives of the victims will fly to Grammatikos on Sunday to attend a church memorial service on Monday, August 14, and then pray at the site of the disaster.

Nikolas Yiasoumis, president of the committee of relatives of the victims told CNA that the arrangements to fly to Athens were made with the Committee. The memorial service will be officiated by Limassol Bishop Athanasios.

A memorial service will also be held at the chapel of Agia Paraskevi and Panagia at Mosfiloti, which was erected in memory of the victims.

On Saturday evening, candles will be lit at Freedom Square in Nicosia, the Court Square in Limassol and Europe Square in Larnaca in memory of the 121 lost during the crash.

Yasoumis said that if the DNA tests show that the remains belong to the three passengers which were not located last year at the site, then proper burial services will be held in Cyprus.

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