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LAM expresses 'deep shock' at crash findings

(Xinhua) Updated: 2013-12-23 19:44

MAPUTO - Mozambique Airlines (LAM) has expressed its "deep concern and shock" at the findings of the November 29th air crash, which were released by the authorities showing that the pilot destroyed the plane on purpose.

LAM issued a press release on Sunday night, saying the company "will request the detailed report which shows and proves the facts leading to the preliminary conclusions," and it will continue to "cooperate fully with the investigating authorities."

The preliminary report announced by the Institute of Civil Aviation of Mozambique (ICAM) indicated that the disaster, which killed all 33 passengers including one Chinese on board, was caused deliberately by the pilot, Herminio dos Santos, since the altitude selector was manually altered three times, and such operations required detailed knowledge of the plane's controls, showing a clear intention to crash the aircraft.

"We are not authorized to answer the questions related to the accident right now, and later we will organize a media conference about the accident findings, " one of the workers at LAM's press team for TM470, who refused to give his name, told Xinhua in a telephone interview.

While, some media (AFP) reported that the pilot had 9,053 flight hours, of which 1,395 as a captain and his licence was renewed in April 2012.

The preliminary report has serious implications for LAM's insurance.

Insurance experts interviewed by the country's independent television station STV said that aircraft insurance does not cover premeditated acts of violence, whether caused by terrorist groups, or by the pilot.

If the findings of the preliminary report are confirmed, proving that the pilot chose to destroy the plane, and no mechanical malfunction was involved, then the insurance companies are freed of their obligation to pay compensation to the families, nor LAM for the lost plane, which means the entire burden would be put on the shoulders of LAM.

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