The remains of the 22 Togolese, who perished last Sunday night in the Paramount helicopter air disaster within the precincts of the Freetown International Airport, would be flown home today.
An aircraft from Togo has arrived to take home the remains, which were conveyed to the Connaught Hospital morgue early on Monday morning.
Last Monday President Kabbah, on arrival from Libya, visited the scene of the accident and met with officials of the Togolese government who flew into the country to assess the accident.
President Kabbah, it was reported, expressed his sincere condolences to the government and people of Togo for the grave loss of lives.
According to a press release from State Lodge, it was reported that the Togolese delegation expressed its satisfaction over the measures taken so far by the government in relation to the accident.
Shortly before the president’s arrival, Vice President Solomon Berewa dispatched a condolence message to President Gnassingbe Faure in which he stated that, “this is a tragedy that deeply affects us in the entire West African family and in the sporting world.”
The government has declared three days of mourning and having all flags flying at half-mast.
Regarding the suspension and resumption of all commercial helicopter services after they were grounded, the government statement noted that, “a report was submitted by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to conduct an assessment of the airworthiness of the helicopters, their operations and management.’
The statement also spoke about a report submitted by ICAO detailing corrective measures that had to be instituted by the helicopter operators before they could resume flight operations.
Government, however, has now instituted an investigation to find out whether, among other things, the requirements set by the ICAO technical team were met by the helicopter operations before they could have been allowed to resume operations.
Meanwhile, government has decided to suspend with immediate effect all commercial helicopters while Dr Prince Harding alongside his director and deputy directors of Civil Aviation have been temporarily suspended pending the investigation.