LONDON. Jan. 11 - The possibility that sabotage caused the crash of the Comet jet-airliner yesterday with the loss of 35 lives would be seriously considered, a British Overseas Airways Corporation spokesman said early today.
“There is at present no reason to believe that
responsible, but we shall consider it together with other theories,” he
Commenting on reports that explosions were heard by fishermen, the spokesman added: “We have had no official news of any explosions, but a Comet is less likely to have explosions that a non-jet plane.
The Comet carrying 10 children among its 29 passengers and a crew of 6, plunged into the Mediterranean of the Italian island of Elba half an hour after leaving Rome for London.
Any hope of any survivors being found has now been abandoned.
Among the passengers were Australian-born Chester Wilmot, broadcaster, war historian and military commentator.
Two other journalists among the victims were Mr Tom Moore, art director and Miss EM Fairbrother, liaison editor of a woman’s magazine, who were on their way to Britain after a three-month business visit to Australia.
The full casualty list issued by B.O.A.C. was:-
SINGAPORE - JP Hill, J Steel
BANGKOK - FJ Greenhouse, R Sawyer-Snelling (14), Captain RV Wolfson
RANGOON - C Wilmot
KARACHI - Mrs D Baker, Miss E Fairbrother, T Moore, HE Schuchmann
BAHRAIN - JM Bunyan, A Bunyan and Bunyan, (all believed children) B Butler, JB Crilly, B Crilly (believed a child), Israel, Miss R Khedouri (13), Miss N Khedouri (15), Miss L Yateem (17).
BEIRUT - Mrs RE Gerald, Master M Geldard, Miss C Geldard, AD Leavat, SF Naamin, ES MacLachlan, JV or JY Ramsden, A Vrisa.
ROME - Captain CA Livingstone
CREW - Captain Alan Gibson D.F.C. (31), First Officer WJ Bury, Engineer Officer FC McDonald, Radio Officer LP McMahon, Steward FL Saunders, Stewardess Jean Evelyn Clark.
From THE AGE (Melbourne) 12th January 1954