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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 05-08-15
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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>
 Helios Airways air crash - Passenger list - Relatives fly to Athens
Helios Airways air crash - Passenger list - Relatives fly to Athens
Larnaca, Aug 15 (CNA) -- As distraught relatives of the victims of Sunday's air tragedy arrive in Athens for the painful task of identifying their next of kin, rescue teams from Greece and Cyprus continue their work at the scene of the crash, near Athens.
The list of passengers and crew of the fatal Helios Airways flight to Prague via Athens with 121 people on board is to be made public today. There were no survivors.
In the morning a memorial service took place at Athens Cathedral, in the presence of Greek premier Costas Karamanlis, Cyprus' Health Minister Andreas Gavrielides, Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides and other officials.
Gavrielides expressed deep sorrow for the loss of life and thanked the Greek government for their cooperation and assistance, adding that every effort will be made to help the identification of the victims.
All corpses have been located and many of them are at the mortuary in Sxisto, in Greece. Most victims, Cypriot nationals in their majority, will have to be identified through DNA examination.
A spokesman for Helios Airways has said that their fleet has been grounded since a Boeing 737 crashed, killing all 121 passengers and crew on board.
The airline has hired aircraft from other airlines (Austrian and Egyptian) to carry its passengers to their destinations today. Helios Sunday's flights into Cyprus were carried out as normal.
Both ''black boxes'' belonging to the fatal Boeing have been recovered and will be sent to a special centre in Paris for examination.
Greece had declared a one-day mourning tomorrow and Cyprus is already observing a three-day official mourning, beginning today.
Iacovos Demetriou, deputy director of Cyprus Civil Aviation authority is accompanying the relatives of the victims to Athens. Two psychiatrists and two psychologists are also on board to help the relatives.
CNA XRN/FZ/MAN/MM/2005 ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
 Helios Airways air crash - US embassy offers condolences
Helios Airways air crash - US embassy offers condolences
Nicosia, Aug 15 (CNA) -- The US embassy here has expressed its sincere condolences to the families of the victims of Sunday's air crash, near Athens, that killed 121 people.
''On behalf of the people of the USA, the American embassy offers sincerest and deep condolences. Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the victims and to all the people of Cyprus,'' an embassy statement said.
''We share your grief over the loss of life and we honour the memory of those lost. Our thoughts and prayers are with you,'' it added.
Helios Airways flight HCY 522, heading to Prague via Athens, crashed Sunday at noon, near Athens, killing everybody on board. The cause of the air crash is not yet known. Cyprus government officials have said that initial indications rule out terrorist attack.
 Weather forecast for Cyprus
Weather forecast for Cyprus
Nicosia, Aug 15 (CNA) -- The Meteorological Office at Larnaca International Airport has issued the following weather forecast for Cyprus:
Tuesday and Wednesday: 16/08/2005 to 17/08/2005
The weather will be mainly fine with local mist overnight, mainly towards dawn. Gentle sea breezes will mainly prevail during the day, expected locally moderate in the afternoons. Light to gentle katabatic winds will be blowing overnight. Sea state will be generally smooth to slight. Maximum temperature 36 to 37 C inland, 32 to 33 C over the east and south coasts, 30 to 31C over the west and north coasts and 28 to 29 C over Prodromos. Minimum temperature 21 to 22C inland and over the coasts and 19 to 20 C over Prodromos.
Outlook for Thursday and Friday: 18/08/2005 to 19/08/2005
No significant change is expected. Risk an isolated shower over mountain areas on Friday afternoon. No significant change in temperature.
Sea temperature: 25C.
 Helios Airways air crash - Communications Minister - Chief of Police
Helios Airways air crash-Communications Minister-Chief of Police
Nicosia, Aug 15 (CNA) -- The list of passengers and crew of the fatal aircraft that crashed near Athens on Sunday, killing all 121 people on board, has been released.
Most passengers are Cypriot, there were 22 children, one German national and several Greeks on board Helios Airways HCY 522 that took off from Larnaca airport, heading for Prague via Athens.
Communications and Works Minister Haris Thrassou and Chief of Police Tasos Panayiotou told a press conference here today that authorities in Greece are still trying to find the identify of twelve people who bought their tickets in Greece.
Thrassou said 30 bodies can be identified and can be brought back to Cyprus for burial.
Panayiotou said that rescue teams have recovered most, but not all, the bodies.
 Weather and Temperatures for Cyprus
 Helios Airways air crash - Communications Minister -Chief of Police
Helios Airways air crash - Communications Minister- Chief of Police
Nicosia, Aug 15 (CNA) -- Most victims of Sunday's air crash, near Athens, were Cypriots, the captain was German and there were some Greek nationals on board as well, a press conference heard here today.
Communications and Works Minister Haris Thrasou and Chief of Police Tasos Panayiotou gave details about the efforts made so far to complete the passenger list, which was given to the public today, 24 hours after Helios flight HCY 522 to Prague, via Athens, crashed killing all 121 people on board, including 22 children.
Panayiotou stressed that police had to corroborate all the information Helios Airways had given them with regard to the passenger list, before any public announcement was made.
He said that police had to confirm that all 121 passengers and crew had actually boarded the fatal flight, a time consuming process for which tickets and boarding passes had to be first found and then checked.
''Police teams worked all night to help complete this arduous task and get full details to ensure that no mistakes are made,'' he said.
The Chief of Police said that 12 tickets were bought in Greece and so far the owners of these tickets have not been located and subsequently their next of kin not notified.
He said police officers flew to Greece on Sunday to help Greek authorities collect and identify the bodies.
More than 30 bodies can be identified and authorities think they can be flown back to Cyprus, he added.
He said 118 bodies of the 121 passengers and crew have been located at the scene of the crash.
Thrassou said the passenger list was completed in the early hours of today, after combined efforts here and in Greece by the police.
''We had to complete the list the airline had given us and corroborate the information in it. In addition we had to notify the next of kin of the victims before going public,'' he said.
Responding to questions, Thrassou said all aircraft are checked regularly for any mechanical failure but explained that it is not possible to carry out checks on each aircraft every time it flies.
''All aircraft have their data and documents and every so many kilometers they undergo stringent maintenance checks,'' he added.
''Each airline is responsible to make sure that its fleet is air worthy. This aircraft was air worthy and it had been given the all clear after some problems were identified and repaired back in December,'' he said, replying to press questions about the air worthiness of the Boeing 737 that crashed near Athens at noon on Sunday.
 Helios Airways air crash - Helios Executive Director - Press conference
Helios Airways air crash - Helios Executive Director-Press conference
Nicosia, Aug 15 (CNA) -- Andreas Drakos, Executive Director of Helios Airways, said the aircraft that crashed on Sunday in Athens was air worthy and had undergone the necessary checks before take off.
Speaking at a press conference in Larnaca, he said the airline will give an initial sum of 20,000 euro for each passenger killed during Sunday's crash near Athens.
''This is a tragic day for all of us. We are devastated, shocked, deeply saddened and express sincere sympathy and condolences to the relatives of the victims,'' he added.
Drakos said two HELIOS aircraft took off this morning. There are difficulties but HELIOS flights continue, he said.
He said the airline had handed the passenger list in good time to the Cypriot authorities.
 Helios Airways air crash - Helios Chairman - Press conference
Helios Airways air crash - Helios Chairman - Press conference
Nicosia, Aug 15 (CNA) -- Helios Airways will carry on as normal, the airline's Executive Chairman Andreas Drakos said here today at a press conference, adding that the cause of Sunday's crash of one of the airline's planes is not known at this stage.
Speaking at a press conference, he said two HELIOS airplanes left today for their destination and dismissed reports that the fleet had been grounded.
''All our aircraft are properly certified and maintained in line with international regulations. The specific aircraft was checked before take off,'' he said, adding that HELIOS will cooperate fully with the team of experts and government authorities investigating the cause of the crash.
He explained that every aircraft is subject to scrutiny ''to the highest international standards'' and the fatal aircraft was ''duly inspected in line with standard procedures'' prior to departure.
Drakos extended deepest regrets to the families of the victims, he said the airline had followed international procedures and regulations as prescribed by Cyprus Civil Aviation.
In a written statement he read out, he said the passenger list was handed to the authorities ''in due time'' containing the date held by airlines all over the world as per international regulations.
''Our priority was to make arrangements to look after the families. Yesterday it was a tragic day for all of us. We are deeply shocked and saddened by this terrible tragedy,'' he said.
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