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Cessna 172: Rescue teams successfully uplift bodies

Luke Rawalai
Friday, March 02, 2018

Update: 3:55PM RESCUE teams based at the Delaikoro crash site have managed to uplift the bodies of student pilot Merelesita Lutu and instructor Iliesa Tawalo.

A statement from Acting Deputy Commissioner of Police Rusiate Tudravu said the recovery teams had managed to do this in the last hour. 

"The recovery process took time with officers trying their best to preserve the victims' bodies and bring them safely to the top before it will be transported to the Labasa hospital for the post-mortem examination," said Mr Tudravu.

This morning, the rescue teams focused solely on safely uplifting the bodies of the two crash victims from the wreckage at Delaikoro. 

ADCP Tudravu said the first phase of the recovery efforts saw officers remove the bodies of the victims from the wreckage adding that attempts to transfer them to the site were hampered by the weather and nightfall. 

He said the weather at Delaikoro this morning had made it unfavourable for the teams to scale down the cliff and securely uplift the victims' bodies. 

"The Police, Republic Fiji Military Forces, National Fire Authority and Civil Aviation stakeholders including villagers are at Dogoru Village trying to find the best way to bring the bodies down from the crash site without compromising the safety of the recovery teams," he had said. 

"We are also liaising with other international law enforcement agencies who have shown their support and willingness to render assistance to the recovery efforts."

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