They were the first to rush to the scene of Friday’s Fly Jamaica crash at the Cheddi Jagan Airport to offer help to passengers, but now investigators believe some local firefighters may have also helped themselves to the belongings of the passengers and crew in the process.
Up to late Friday evening, at least ten members of the Guyana Fire Service were being questioned about the removal of personal items belonging to passengers from the Fly Jamaica jet that made an emergency landing on Friday morning at the Cheddi Jagan Airport.
While the checked bags were safe in the cargo hold of the plane, some passengers who left their handbags and carry-on pieces in the plane’s cabin have filed Police complaints about money and gadgets being missing from their bags.
A source close to the investigating team told News Source last evening that the Captain of the flight was one of the first to file a complaint. While he was busy ensuring all passengers and his crew got to safety, someone made their way into the cockpit and carted off his ipad, sunglasses, wallet and other personal items.
“It was when the Captain filed a complaint that so many other persons came forward with complaints of their own, from missing money to phones and jewellery that were all in their bags”, a Cheddi Jagan Airport official said.
The Fire Chief Marlon Gentle has confirmed that a number of his firemen were held for questioning. He said action will be taken against those found to have been involved in the theft of items.
News Source understands that Fire Department based at the Airport was searched and a number of items were found. One firefighter returned several of the stolen items also.
When the plane made its emergency landing and started its evacuation plan, passengers said it was chaotic and a number of firefighters were at the scene offering help.
Once those passengers were evacuated and taken to a secured area, firefighters were seen on the aircraft conducting checks along with some crew members. Investigators believe that it might have been during those checks, that some of the first responders pilfered the bags of the crew members and the passengers.
An elderly passenger told News Source that in his rush to get off of the plane, he left his handbag with his medication, electronic gadgets and money orders behind.
“Because my medication was in the bag, I was able to get officials to get it for me when everything settled down. My ipad is gone and over ten thousand US dollars in money orders for a surgery I was going to do is gone”, the man said. He explained that he was able to file a Police complaint at the Timehri Police Station and saw a number of other passengers doing the same.
When News Source arrived at the scene of the crash around 4:25am on Friday, all of the passengers had already been evacuated. However, four members of the flight crew and a number of fire fighters could still be seen in different sections of the plane.
Some firefighters were also seen standing on the wing of the crashed plane, snapping selfies and posing for photographs in front of the wreck.