PNG PLANE CRASH KILLED SIX IN ONE FAMILY

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Surviving pilot in Australian hospital

By Pisai Gumar PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Jan. 6, 2010) – In Papua New Guinea, the six who were killed in the plane crash at Boana in Morobe province last week were all members of a family, it was revealed yesterday at the mourning house at Bumayong in Lae.

The dead were a mother, her three children and two grandchildren.

They were on their way home from Port Moresby, via Lae, when they perished in the fatal crash of a Britten-Norman Islander aircraft, owned by Kiunga Aviation, last Wednesday morning.

The owner-pilot of the aircraft, Richard Leahy, sustained severe injuries and was medevaced to Australia.

The bodies of the dead are still at the Angau Memorial Hospital, awaiting a coroner’s inquest.

The mother is a first cousin of Morobe Governor Luther Wenge.

Wenge yesterday released the names in an emotional scene.

He said the bodies were that of his cousin Dambi Kindik, 54; her daughters Julie Agasabu, 20, and Jacinta Naio, 20; son Jerry Kindik, 16; and grand children Raymond Zalingau, seven, and Rolina Agasabu, 11 months.

Baby Rolina is the daughter of Julie.

Jacinta was a first year electronics student at Badili Vocational centre, Jerry in Grade 7 at Gerehu Primary School, and Raymond at elementary at St Paul’s, all in Port Moresby.

Their bodies are now at the Angau Memorial Hospital morgue awaiting a coroner’s inquest.

Mr. Wenge said Mrs. Kindik and her family were travelling home to Baindoang to erect the headstone for her husband Ponus Kindik’s grave.

Mr. Kindik had passed away in 2008.

All their bodies were severely charred, according to Dr. Kobby Bomario of Angau Memorial Hospital.

He said the degree of burns "totally exceeds all other burnings people sustained in any of the fire incidents" he had known.

He said that the bodies could not be clearly identified until electricity and water supply at the hospital were restored.

"Lightings and water are crucial to any medical operations. But the situation (water and power problem in Lae) does not permit the progress of the work especially for the coroner’s inquest report," he said.

Meanwhile, Nick Leahy, son of the pilot, has expressed his sorrow and written to the Kindiks’ relative to see how his family could assist.

He said that his family was also anxiously watching the condition of their father at the Royal Brisbane Hospital, suffering from a broken spine and major burns to his legs and the lower part of the body.

The cause of the crash is not known as air safety investigators from Civil Aviation Authority and PNG Air Services are still investigating.

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