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Leader of Opposition extends condolences to families of victims of helicopter crash

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Posted: Friday, February 28, 2020. 6:44 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: Leader of the Opposition, John Briceño and the People’s United Party are deeply saddened by the tragic helicopter accident involving four members of the Belize Defence Force in the area of Gales Point Manatee.

The PUP joins the rest of the nation in solidarity and extends heartfelt condolences to the families of Major Adrian Ramirez, Major Radford Baizer, Corporal Yassir Mendez and Corporal Reynaldo Choco.

“These pilots and crew of the BDF U1HI died in service to country and we are forever grateful for their service,” a statement from the Leader of the Opposition said.

The PUP says that it is concerned about all the questions surrounding this accident.

The PUP noted that the press conference held by the Ministry of National Security has left many questions unanswered.

“There was no information regarding the time taken in reporting the status of the helicopter, the amount of experience by the pilots and crew on night flight operations, the weather conditions for flying helicopters at those hours on that day, the last known radio communication with the pilots, confirmation if the helicopter was certified for visual flight rules and night operations, the standard operating procedures and communication protocols when the BDF airwing is active on a mission and confirmation of the time when and where all four persons were recovered from the scene of the accident,” the PUP noted.

The Leader of the Opposition further calls on the Ministry of National Security to conduct an independent and thorough investigation and with as much international expertise as may be required.

This will serve to assist the families and the nation in understanding the most tragic BDF airwing accident in the history of Belize.

While this will not lessen the enormous loss of life, it can help to bring some measure of understanding and closure on this tragedy in the weeks and months ahead.

The Leader of the Opposition also called on the Ministry of National Security to also appropriately honor the lives of these brave service men and to keep the nation updated on the progress of the investigation.

“Our thoughts and prayers remain with the families of the pilots, the crew and the entire BDF Airwing community and the brave men and women of the BDF,” the statement ended

 

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