In English

Sierra Leone govt pursues crashed helicopter case

The government in Sierra Leone has expressed determination to prosecute "Paramount Airlines" which owned the helicopter the helicopter that killed a 20-member Togolese sports delegation including their sports minister.

Sierra Leone's Attorney General and Minister of Justice Fredrick Carew told journalists here Monday that "the proprietors and management of Paramount Airlines, owners of the killer helicopter that crashed beyond recognition at the Lungi International Airport resulting in the death of Togolese nationals and two Russians, may be charged to court for negligence".One of the company's helicopters crashed and burst into flames 3 June 2007 helicopter killing twenty Togolese nationals and two Russian pilots.

"Even when it is proven that the helicopter has an insurance cover and has gone through mandatory tests, if a case of negligence is suspected, then the Law Office will take action by charging the management of the helicopter company to court.

"Again, where it is proven that the accident could have been avoided if the management had taken precautionary action, then the Law Office will take action by charging the management of the helicopter company to court," Carew explained.

Though Paramount Airlines operated in Sierra Leone for more than five years before the fatal accident last week, their helicopters were recently grounded due to concerns expressed by ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization over their airworthiness.

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