Thirty years after the crash of Air Airbus A320 on Mont Sainte-Odile (Bas-Rhin), relatives of the survivors and victims will meet on January 23 to pay their respects as a “family” at the scene of the disaster. Of the 87 missing.
On January 20, 1992, after a soft flight, a flight from Lyon to Strasbourg crashed about 20 kilometers from Enzyme Airport. Nine of the 96 passengers and crew survived.
On Sunday, a few days after the end of the year, the association is organizing a memorial service at the site of the Echo (Entride de la Cadestro des Hauts du Saint-Odel) in order to reunite the survivors and relatives of the victims. By the accident itself, a stool has been set up.
“It will be an opportunity to recall the circumstances of the accident and to call witnesses according to each other’s empathy,” explains AFP’s Pierre Laman, who lost his brother in the crash.
“It’s an opportunity to meet a common memory, a dramatic memory, collectively and in a friendly way,” he underscores. “We have built very strong bonds between us.”
Some members call the association a “second family” because Echo played a leading role, especially in the legal battle aimed at obtaining a criminal investigation.
Feelings of anger and injustice
At the end of a 13 – year trial, six people – one air traffic controller and five former executives from the civil aviation, airline and airbus industry – were charged with “murder and murder” and sent back to court.
In the first instance, in 2006, the judges acquitted the defendants of “negligence” in the cockpit design of civil companies, including Air France (which had acquired Air Inter), and Airbus. Plane. ‘A320. The Echo Association has received a legal fee of ,000 500,000.
But on appeal, two years later, justice finally dismissed Airbus’ civil liability and removed the compensation awarded to Echo. This result was confirmed in the cases.
A consequence of leaving an even deeper “feeling of anger and injustice” for Alvaro Rendon, the honorary president of the association whose wife died during the accident.
“Whatever happened, we firmly believe that French justice did not recognize it. On appeal, I had a heart attack after hearing the judge’s arguments. He told us it was the victims’ fault,” he recalled.
“I do not think the authorities have learned a lesson from this disaster,” he said. Referring to the 2009 Rio-Paris crash, she laments, “Women and men who have lost a loved one need to know the truth, and it must be determined, but not many years later, as it happens every time.” And whose investigation has not yet taken place, or the Germanwings investigation in 2015 continued.
Irregularity of relief
For the relatives of the victims, the catastrophe was so severe that the disaster brought to light some regulatory and technical weaknesses: Air Inter planes were without warning devices close to the ground, which were not mandatory at the time. The select button on Airbus’ cockpit, which combines the two functions, may have been the result of an error made by the pilots in the landing speed of the aircraft, resulting in an accident.
But for some families, the most painful aspect of the disaster is that rescue services have not been organized, which took more than four hours to locate the wreckage, after locals and journalists arrived on the scene. The first evacuees were evacuated “on the backs of men, either with arms or with the help of temporary stretchers,” the investigation report states.
According to the report, six victims would have “probably survived” if aid had intervened quickly. But the potential liability of the authorities in these failures was ruled out during the judicial inquiry.
“We tend to forget things a little too much,” Pierre Laman says today. “It was an accident in France, at the gates of Strasbourg, with a plane thought to be French. It should not be forgotten. It was 30 years ago. It was yesterday.”
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