Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Crash in Colombia: Arrest Of The Director Of The Lamia Company

Bolivian authorities on Tuesday arrested the director of the Lamia airline, which owned the plane that crashed in Colombia, killing 71 people, including almost all of the Brazilian football team Chapecoense.

Gustavo Vargas, director of Lamia, a Bolivian charter company, was arrested and taken to the offices of the prosecutor general of the department of Santa Cruz in eastern Bolivia, where the head office is located.

"An arrest warrant was issued against the director of this company," said the press prosecutor Ivan Quintanilla, a member of the multinational commission that is responsible for the accident investigation.

Also, the director of Lamia, "the secretary and chief engineer of the company were arrested for investigation," the prosecutor added.

The plane of Lamia, a British Aerospace BA-146, crashed Monday in the hills of the Medellin area, Colombia, with 77 people on board. There were six survivors.

Among the 71 dead is almost all of Chapecoense, the team from the small Brazilian town of Chapeco, who went to Colombia to play the final of the Copa Sudamericana, the second largest continental competition in Latin America.

A commission of Bolivian, Brazilian, and Colombian prosecutors was set up to investigate the crash, said the Bolivian public prosecutor.

The commission, composed of six prosecutors will perform a "joint work coordinated (..) to arrive at the truth of the facts," said the Bolivian Attorney General, Ramiro Guerrero.

The authorities raided the offices of Administration of Airports and Auxiliary Services to Air Navigation on Tuesday.

Lamia offices were also raided.

Celia Castedo, the official who authorized the flight plan of the aircraft Lamia, is currently in hiding in Brazil.

The reasons of the accident are not officially known. The investigations seem to point toward the thesis of a fuel failure.

The unit does not respect the fuel supply plan omitting a scheduled stopover in Cobija, Bolivia's border city of Brazil or Bogota.

"This is a hypothesis that strengthens but is to analyzed by the investigators," as information from flight recorders "black boxes" and records from the control tower, said the director of the Colombian civil aviation, Alfredo Bocanegra.

The Lamia flying license was suspended by the Bolivian government, which has already dismissed several senior officials of Civil Aviation of Bolivia.

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