CEO of E-med Rescue in Cape Town for Crash Investigation

namib times 18-08-15

bertus struwig foto

The CEO of Prosperity, that owns E-med Rescue 24, Bertus Struwig, left for Cape Town yesterday, to visit the scene of the air ambulance accident. When namib times spoke to him on Sunday evening he expressed his shock and deep sadness.  He said it was the first time that they experienced a disaster of that nature in the history of E Med24 Namibia, and that they’ve had 8 years and more than 800 emergency flights without any accidents.

It is with great sadness we’ve heard of the passing away of two pilots, a paramedic, patient and his daughter in a crash involving an E-Med Rescue 24 aeromedical aircraft in the Tygerberg Nature Reserve near Cape Town, South Africa, this morning.

He said E-med Rescue 24 had been in the process of evacuating the 80-year-old Mr le Roux on behalf of ER24 in South Africa, from Oranjemund in Namibia.

Our aircraft departed Oranjemund Airport shortly after 4am Sunday morning and was expected to land at Cape Town International Airport in South Africa at 7am.

Shortly before 7am contact was lost with the aircraft. Emergency services in Cape Town were activated to conduct a search for the missing aircraft.

Emergency services personnel found the wreckage of the aircraft in the Tygerberg Nature Reserve with no survivors.

It is understood from the Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) that all aircraft approaching Cape Town International Airport at the time were placed in a holding pattern due to a technical fault with their radars.

The E-med Rescue 24 aircraft was also in the holding pattern at the time. We lost contact with the aircraft approximately seven miles outside of the airport.”

He said the patient’s family was en route from Oranjemund via road to Mediclinic Panorama. ER24’s ambulance was waiting at the airport to collect the patient and his daughter to complete the last leg of the evacuation to Mediclinic Panorama, when the news of the crash broke.

“Although there is a lot of speculation regarding the exact cause of the crash, we are aware that the South African Civil Aviation Authority are on scene and will conduct a thorough investigation into the matter.

ER24 made trauma counsellors available to the family and friends.

Our condolences go out to the family and friends of our patient as well as crew on board.” Struwig said he would keep namib times informed of any developments.

The names of the five people who were killed in the air ambulance crash in Cape Town Sunday morning were released the same day. They were West Air Wings pilots , 53-year-old Steven Naude and 23-year-old Amore Espach, both from Windhoek, the 23-year-old Alfred John Ward of E-Med Rescue 24 in Windhoek, and 80-year-old South African, Gabriel Petrus Le Roux, and his daugher, 49-year-old Charmaine Koortzen of Oranjemund. Meanwhile, South African media reports that the  Air Traffic and Navigation Services SOC Limited,  or the ATNS as it is known, has  expressed concern over what it calls speculation over the radar system, and said it could be misinterpreted.

It said it would await the outcome of an independent investigation, and that the agency would give its full co-operation.

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