KUALA LUMPUR: PIECES of the Dauphin AS365N2 crash puzzle are slowly falling into place, as findings from preliminary investigations into the tragedy that killed six, including Tan Sri Dr Jamaluddin Jarjis, reveal more answers.
As investigators work to learn more about the flightâ€™s operations, which evidence suggested were also controlled by learner pilot Aidana Baizieva, forensic experts tasked with examining the victimsâ€™ remains had not detected signs that there was a bomb on board the helicopter, as earlier speculated.
Forensic evidence also suggested that all on board the aircraft died on impact. The police had, on April 4, the day the helicopter crashed in Semenyih, said they were not ruling out sabotage as the cause of the disaster.
This likelihood, a source close to the investigation told the New Straits Times, was based on the accounts of witnesses, who said they saw an explosion at the section of the helicopter where the black box was located seconds before it hit the ground.
â€œHowever, the findings of the forensic investigations into the remains are not yet concrete as results from the lab analysis have not been concluded.
â€œBut, based on the investigations into the remains carried out by the disaster victims identification (DVI) team as soon as the remains were brought to them, there was nothing out of the ordinary.
â€œThere were no foreign objects on the remains (including shrapnels from a bomb) to suggest that one had exploded while the helicopter was airborne. If that had been the case, findings from their examination on the remains would have been different,â€ the source said, adding that the forensic team carried out internal and external examinations into the remains.
â€œThey do this after a computerised tomography (CT) scan by a team of pathologists. Then, there were other intricate processes. So, there is little possibility that they missed out on any finding.â€
Doctors in the forensic team had classified the cause of the death of all on board the helicopter as â€œdeath due to multiple injuries consistent with an air crashâ€.
The six victims â€” including principal private secretary in the Prime Ministerâ€™s Office Datuk Azlin Alias, the pilot Captain Clifford William Fournier, SP Baiduri Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Tan Huat Seng and Jamaluddinâ€™s bodyguard, Corporal Razkan Seran â€” they said, died from the impact of the disaster.
However, the source said the forensic experts could not determine if the impact that took their lives was the result of an explosion mid-air or their fall from an altitude of no less than 305m.
â€œIt is difficult for the team to determine how the victims died. But, their deaths were instant.â€ The crash is being probed under a three-pronged investigation, carried out simultaneously by the Department of Civil Aviation, the DVI team and the police.
The NST yesterday reported that findings derived from the helicopterâ€™s black box revealed thatthe machine could have been operated by Fournier and Baizieva.
It was reported that Baizieva had been taking flying lessons from Fournier. DCA director-general Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said the next line of action in the departmentâ€™s investigation, including calling witnesses, would be determined after the report on findings from the black boxâ€™s flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder had been finalised.
This, he said, would likely be by early next month. Aviation laws and regulations prohibit student pilots from acting as pilot-in-command or as co-pilot of any aircraft unless that person is a licence holder. They are also not allowed to have passengers with them during training.
Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Noor Rashid Ibrahim told the NST that the police were focused on three probe areas. They, he added, at the moment had not ruled out â€œtechnical problemsâ€, â€œnegligenceâ€ or â€œsabotageâ€ as the cause of the crash.-NST