Statement
19 July 2018 - 8:31am

STATEMENT FROM DEPUTY PREMIER AND MINISTER OF NATURAL RESOURCES AND LABOUR
 DR.THE HONOURABLE KEDRICK PICKERING
ON PLANE CRASH

At approximately 4:17 pm, a C-150 aircraft destined to Pointe a Pitre International Airport in Guadeloupe departed the Terrance B Lettsome International Airport and crashed into the waters off the east north east end of Runway 07 immediately after take-off. There was one person on board.

Quick action was taken by the BVI Airports Authority’s Rescue and Fire Fighting Services with assistance from the Virgin Islands Search and Rescue (VISAR), the BVI Health Services Authority and two volunteers from a private vessel to rescue the sole occupant of the aircraft.  As a result of the crash, the airport was closed.

Divers were able to successfully rescue the pilot from the waters.  Despite the heroic efforts of emergency personnel and volunteers to resuscitate the sole occupant of the aircraft, the pilot succumbed to the injuries at the scene.

I am deeply saddened to hear of this tragic plane crash at the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport today.  My heartfelt condolences are extended to the families and friends of the pilot whose life was lost in the tragic accident. My thoughts are with them during this time of sorrow and pray that they find comfort in the peace of the Almighty God.

The Crisis Intervention Team, led by psychologist Brenda Fahie, has been activated and deployed to provide the necessary counselling and psycho-social support to the victim’s love ones, airport personnel and other rescue personnel who were traumatised by the unfortunate event.

With the support of the Husky Salvage & Towing and Secondman's Crane & Trucking, we were able to float the crashed aircraft and ensure that it was secured. The Air Accident Investigations Board (AAIB) from the United Kingdom has been notified. An investigation team from the BVI Airports Authority, in collaboration with the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF), are currently conducting investigations into the cause of the crash.

The Airport reopened this evening at 5:30 pm after an inspection revealed that there was no damage to, or debris on the runway. All efforts into the investigation of this matter will be handled according to proper emergency protocols.

My government is carefully handling the response to this very unfortunate accident and we appeal to the public for their full cooperation, compassion and consideration until the appropriate family notification has been completed.

The BVI Airports Authority will continue to work with the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force to coordinate the incident command activities associated with this crash.

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