All 74 bodies found following Turkish air crash
TRABZON: The bodies of 74 people, including 62 Spanish peacekeepers, have been recovered from a wreckage-littered mountainside following the crash of a Ukrainian-operated plane which apparently lost its way while attempting to land, local officials said on Tuesday.
Turkish newspapers meanwhile blamed pilot error for the crash, which occurred as the Yak-42 sought to set down on a refuelling stop in this Black Sea port on its way from Afghanistan to Spain. The transport plane slammed into a fog-shrouded mountain and exploded, killing 62 Spanish peacekeepers and a 12-man Ukrainian crew. The bodies of all the Spanish soldiers have been identified and could be flown home as early as Wednesday, according to both Turkish and Spanish officials.
The Turkish and Spanish defence ministers, Vecdi Gonul and Federico Trillo, paid their second visit to the crash site Tuesday morning, on a steep hillside 1,000 metres (3,200 feet) above sea-level, near the town of Macka. Gul said the cause of the accident would only be determined once the plane’s flight recorder had been found. “We can’t say anything before this instrument has been found,” he told Anatolia news agency.
Turkish newspapers however blamed the craft’s pilots for the fatal accident, which came as the Spanish soldiers were returning home from four-month missions in Afghanistan and nearby Kyrgyzstan. —AFP