35 dead in crash of Czech airliner
At least 35 people have lost their lives in the crash of a Czechoslovakian aircraft at Gander early Tuesday morning.
The big turbo-prop crashed shortly after take-off from Gander International airport after re-fueling stop at approximately 2:40.
A total of 69 persons were on board the plane and officials say at least 35 have been injured, many critically.
The aircraft crashed on the railway tracks tearing up approximately 250 feet. Wreckage of the plane was strewn for one and a half miles.
The dead were taken to the Allied Hanger and three persons have died at the James Paton Memorial Hospital. Five members of one family escape, however, a son was reported to have sustained severe burns.
The Department of Transportation team arrived at Gander t 11 a.m. today to begin the investigation.
The administrator of the hospital, G. Lester, said the emergency plan was invoked immediately after the call was received.
Mr. Lester said 17 of those admitted are suffering from severe burns which have to be treated with a mechanical kidney. He said 17 would be transferred to the Victoria General Hospital in Halifax which is the nearest hospital providing that type of treatment. They will be accompanied by a doctor from Gander and Argentia and medical corps men.
Mr. Lester said there has been no extra staff added, however, people have been called to donate blood.
He said those admitted to the hospital appear to be doing rather well. He said Dr. Coxan, Medical Superintendent reported that he had only two more cases to operate on, at 1:30 Tuesday afternoon.
He said it wil be several days and maybe weeks before any of them will be released.
The hospital is now on an emergency basis and no visitors will be permitted at least for the next day or so. He said most of the staff has been working for 12 hours and they are tired.
Members of the Gander Fire Department, RCAF, RCMP, and all available airline personnel have been on the scene since the crash occurred.
The plane was on a flight from Prague, Czechoslovakia, to Havana, Cuba, and most of the occupants are said to be of various nationalities.
The last major crash in the area occurred in 1946 when an airliner crashed one half mile south of Gander Lake.
The wreckage of a Czechoslovakian turbo prop aircraft was strewn for one and a half miles after it crashed at Gander International airport early Tuesday morning. Officials say at least 35 people were killed and 34 injured, many critically. The plan was on a trip from Prague, Czechoslovakia to Havana, Cuba. The crash occurred at 2:40 a.m.