Black Box from Bahamian Plane Crash Site Found

The final victim of the crash that killed Dr Myles Munroe and eight others has been identified. American Diego DeSantiago, pictured here with Dr Munroe, frequently travelled around the world as a translator with the Bahamian pastor.
The final victim of the crash that killed Dr Myles Munroe and eight others has been identified. American Diego DeSantiago, pictured here with Dr Munroe, frequently travelled around the world as a translator with the Bahamian pastor.

INVESTIGATORS have found the cockpit voice recorder and the digital electronic engine monitors from the ill-fated Lear jet which crashed on Sunday in Grand Bahama, killing all nine people on board, including religious leader Dr Myles Munroe.

A statement released by the Department of Civil Aviation said it is anticipated that these critical pieces of equipment will assist investigators in determining the cause of the crash.

The news came as the final victim’s name was released. He was Diego DeSantiago, a 38-year-old US man who frequently travelled with Dr Munroe as a translator.

Originally, reports had suggested that the final victim of the crash had been an African visitor, but yesterday it was confirmed that Mr DeSantiago, a frequent visitor to The Bahamas, was the remaining passenger on the plane.

The team of investigators combing the crash site includes four officers from the Department of Civil Aviation’s Aircraft Accident Investigation and Prevention Unit, three officials from Bombardier, the jet’s manufacturers, one from the US’ Federal Aviation Administration, and one official from the National Transportation Safety Board.

The plane was a US-registered aircraft.

Dr Munroe, founder and president of Bahamas Faith Ministries International, his wife Ruth, Dr Richard Pinder, a BFMI executive, Lavard and Rudel Parks, BFMI youth ministers, and their son young Johanan were on board.

Pilot Capt Stanley Thurston, co-pilot Frankan Cooper, and 38-year-old Colorado resident Diego DeSantiago, were also killed.

They were heading to Grand Bahama for the 2014 Global International Summit, which Dr Munroe was to host.

The voice recorder will provide vital information to investigators into the final moments of the flight as it was making its approach to land at Grand Bahama International Airport, officials said.

The device records what the crew said and monitors any sounds that occurred within the cockpit. It is also extremely important for determining the timing of events because it contains information such as communication between the crew and ground control and other planes. The cockpit voice recorder is usually located in the tail of a plane.

The plane crashed into a junk pile just after 5pm, after clipping a crane and reportedly exploding.

It is believed that bad weather was a contributing factor to the crash.

Dr Munroe’s children are still in Grand Bahama at the conference.

The Tribune has learned that Charo Munroe, his son, is expected to speak during the closing of the conference today.

While in Grand Bahama on Monday, Prime Minister Perry Christie visited the crash site with Transport and Aviation Minister Glenys Hanna Martin. He described the incident as a “tragic unpredictable loss of life.”

“We wanted to go to the site to get a sense of what could have gone wrong,” he said on Monday.

“For us it is really one that we know that as leaders of our country we all deeply regret but we must find the answers and we must ensure wherever the answers take us that if it has policy implications we can effect whatever changes we have to make using this as an example.”

Ms Hanna Martin said that whenever a fatal crash occurs it is always a terrible incident.

She commended the Royal Bahamas Police Force and the Grand Bahama Shipyard for the tremendous assistance in the recovery efforts following the crash.

“We credit the police force for working through the night in the rain and the shipyard for their assistance in terms of the heavy equipment and crane to help in the search and recovery efforts,” she said.

Condolences continue to pour in from the Grand Bahama business community.

Kevin D Seymour, president of the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce, extended condolences to the bereaved families.

“Our appreciation is extended to the emergency personnel who responded to the call and also offer our encouragement and support to the management and staff of the Grand Bahama Shipyard, who are no doubt traumatised by this tragic event,” he said.

Mr Seymour said Dr Munroe’s legacy will live on, both nationally and globally, as he taught and encouraged all who heard his message.

“We thank him for bringing the 2014 Global Leadership Forum to Grand Bahama and pray for all participants who are in mourning,” he said.

“In an interview, Dr Munroe stated his purpose in life was to transform followers into leaders and leaders into agents for change. May we all embrace his teachings and move forward in unity, love and respect for each other,” said Mr Seymour.

Source: Tribune 242 | DENISE MAYCOCK

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