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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-08-18

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Cypriot president and Greek leadership to discuss Turkey's EU accession negotiations, Cypriot jetliner crash
  • [02] Coroners close to ruling out sudden decompression of Cypriot airliner, probe continues

  • [01] Cypriot president and Greek leadership to discuss Turkey's EU accession negotiations, Cypriot jetliner crash

    Turkey's European Union accession negotiations and the Cypriot jetliner crash will dominate talks on Thursday when Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos - in Athens on a working visit - meets with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and other Greek political leaders.

    Papadopoulos' working visit had been scheduled before the Helios Airways Boeing 737 crashed into a mountain north of Athens on Sunday killing all 121 people on board, in order to discuss Turkey's EU aspirations, in light of its refusal to recognise the Republic of Cyprus.

    Throughout the day, Papadopoulos will meet separately with Karamanlis, President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias, main opposition PASOK President George Papandreou, Communist Party of Greece Spokesman Orestis Kolozov and Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (SYN) President Alekos Alavanos.

    At the end of July, Turkey signed a protocol extending its EU customs union agreement to the Union's 10 new members but simultaneously issued a unilateral declaration reaffirming its policy of not recognising the Republic of Cyprus.

    The European Council will be discussing the negotiation framework surrounding Turkey's EU accession during its meeting on August 25 in Brussels.

    [02] Coroners close to ruling out sudden decompression of Cypriot airliner, probe continues

    A child on board the Cypriot airliner that slammed into a hilltop north of Athens on Sunday apparently survived the crash, even if for a few seconds, coroners announced on Wednesday.

    An autopsy revealed that soot was found in the trachea of the unnamed child, aged five to six years old, a fact that indicates the child was breathing immediately after the crash, according to medical examiner Nikos Kalogrias. He also did not rule out the prospect that other victims -- whose bodies have not been examined as yet --momentarily survived the crash.

    The find came as coroners continued autopsies on more victims of the downed Helios Airways Boeing 737-300 jet, which claimed the lives of 121 individuals.

    In terms of other clinical findings, chief medical examiner Filippos Kotsaftis told reporters that his staff has almost ruled out the possibility that passengers on the airliner were exposed to subzero temperatures or a sudden decompression prior to the crash.

    Along those lines, the first official hypotheses on what occurred on flight ZU522 were publicly aired, by coroners at least, with Kotsaftis citing the possibility that the air supply aboard the airliner became contaminated -- a fact that would explain why passengers and crew were motionless or even in a state of coma when spotted by fighter pilots, he said.

    Toxicology reports, due in 10 to 12 days, are also expected to shed more light on victims' condition before the crash, especially on the possible existence of an airborne contaminant in the plane's cabin.

    Additionally, coroners said urine samples were taken from the co-pilot and a flight attendant.

    Finally, Kotsaftis said DNA testing began on Wednesday on the bodies of victims that have not been identified.

    The plane crashed into the semi-mountainous district of Grammatiko, some 40 kilometers north of Athens after departing Larnaca airport on Cyprus for Prague via Athens.


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