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General News
Crashed Chopper Was Not Insured 1/16/2007
The Ghana Air Force helicopter which crashed and burnt to ashes at Adukrom in the Eastern Region while conveying the mortal remains of Air Marshal Michael Akuoku Otu, had no insurance cover.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Defence, Dr. Kwame Addo-Kufuor, on Peace FM, a private radio station, in Accra yesterday.
According to Dr. Addo-Kufuor, the helicopter which was among the four recently procured from a Russian firm, in line with military tradition, could not be provided with an insurance cover.
The minister expressed shock about the tragedy, asserting that the helicopter had been very useful to the Ghana Armed Forces, especially in its peace-keeping mission in La Cote d’Ivoire.
Dr. Addo-Kufuor, who was in Kumasi at the time of the crash, said he visited the scene on Sunday and was shocked to the marrow.
He stated that investigations into the incident had commenced, pointing out the black-box of the helicopter would provide a clue to the cause of the accident.
At the time of the crash, there were on board, five military crew and 13 family members of the former Chief of Defence Staff, who all escaped unhurt before the chopper caught fire
However, they could not recover the remains of Air Marshal Otu, which was burnt beyond recognition by the blazing fire.
It was a pathologist from the 37 Military Hospital who identified the ashes of the former military chief for burial.
Following the frequent accidents by military aircrafts, analysts believed that this was the time to insure military equipment.
A similar accident happened in Atwiwa Forest in the same region- Eastern- when a military helicopter dispatched to Nkawkaw Holy Family Hospital crashed.
The chopper was dispatched to pick a soldier and another victim of an accident who were in critical condition, to the 37 Military Hospital for treatment.
All the people onboard the helicopter, an Agusta Bell, including the two accident victims, lost their lives.
The compensation for the civilian victims on board the chopper became a problem, after it was made clear that military aircrafts were not insured.
Military aircrafts had never been insured since the Ghana Air Force was established; not even when the defunct Air Link service was in operation some years ago, by the military.
Civilians were usually given the opportunity to fly by Ghana Air Force aircraft, usually to the Northern parts of the country.


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