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US join probe into Garang’s helicopter crash

8/5/2005 9:25am

KAMPALA, Aug 5, 2005 — The USA has deployed experts from its National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to boost Uganda and Sudan in the search for what caused the fatal presidential helicopter crash that killed Sudanese First vice president John Garang and 13 other people on Saturday 20 July.
A villager cries as she mourns former SPLM leader John Garang in Kurmuk village, Blue Nile region of southern Sudan, August 4, 2005. (Reuters).

The US State Department’s spokesperson, Tom Casey, told journalists on Wednesday 3 August that President Yoweri Museveni and the new Sudan Peoples Liberation Army/Movement leader and defacto new Sudan’s first vice-president, Salva Kiir, requested the USA to beef up the investigation with technical assistance.

Casey was responding to a question, which doubted bad weather as the cause of the accident. Casey said, "I reiterate what we said yesterday, which is we have no reason to believe that anything other than bad weather may have contributed to this crash. Museveni has decided to create a panel of three experts to investigate it.

The NTSB is an independent Federal agency charged by the Congress with investigating every civil aviation accident in the US and significant accidents in the other modes of transportation. Since its inception 1967, the NTSB has investigated more than 124,000 aviation accidents and over 10,000 surface transportation accidents.

(The New Vision/ST)

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