EXTRACTS FROM THE TIMES SATURDAY APRIL 10TH 1954
COMET WRECKAGE AND BODIES FOUND
WITHDRAWAL OF AIR WORTHINESS CERTIFICATE
It was announced last night that the United
Kingdom certificate of
airworthiness of all Comet aircraft has been withdrawn pending
investigation into the causes of the recent disasters.
After one of the most widespread air-sea searches ever undertaken, wreckage of the B.O.A.C. Comet airliner which crashed in the Mediterranean on Thursday night, about 200 miles from Rome, has been found.
The Admiralty stated last night that five bodies had been recovered and were in H.M.S. Eagle.
................. Wreckage and bodies were sighted in the sea yesterday from a B.E.A. Elizabethan airliner near the area where a large patch of oil, 70 miles due south of Naples, had given the first clue to the probable fate of the B.O.A.C. Comet G-ALYY.
.................. The position at which the wreckage and bodies were seen is about 25 miles from the Italian mainland, on the course the aircraft should have been flying. Although the Comet belonged to B.O.A.C. it was being flown by a South African airways crew of seven; it carried 14 passengers, of whom 11 embarked at London Airport and 3 at Rome. Seven of the passengers were British, three American, two South African, one Swiss and one Egyptian.
................ The Airliner had left London Airport for Johannesburg at 3 p.m. on Wednesday. It was delayed in Rome for 24 hours because repairs were necessary to a fuel contents gauge. It took off from Rome at 6.25 p.m. on Thursday, and the last contact with it was a routine message received at Rome Airport at 6.57 p.m. reporting its position as abeam Naples. The airliner was due to reach Cairo at 9.20 p.m; when it did not arrive it was reported overdue.
When the suspension order was given, B.O.A.C. Comet G-ALYU was at London Airport ready to set out for Johannesburg at 3 p.m. yesterday. G-ALYW had reached Colombo, having reopened the London - Ceylon service. It was due to start on the return flight at 8 a.m. yesterday. G-ALYX had left Khartoum for Cairo, and is remaining at Cairo. B.O.A.C. made arrangements yesterday to convey the stranded passengers either on their own services or, if necessary on those of other airlines.
LIST OF CREW AND PASSENGERS
Crew: Captain WK Mostert, first officer BJ Grove,
navigation officer AE
Sissing, radio officer BE Webbstock, engineer officer AR Lagesen,
air hostess PL
Reitz and flight steward JB Kok.
Passengers: Mr OL Anderson, Mr & Mrs AB Brooks, Miss DM Eady, Mr FH Harbison, Mr MA Lamloum, Dr J Staurt, Mr RL Wilkinson, Miss N Young, Capt. JA Collings, Mr JF Murray-White, Mr ES Hack, Mr J Rosenburg and Mr Salzman.