Lithuanian transport minister not to resign after aircraft disaster

Rimantas Sinkevičius
DELFI / Mindaugas Ažušilis

Institutions under the Transport and Communications Ministry coordinated the search and rescue operation for the aircraft and its two pilots.

According to the minister, the accident was analysed in two aspects, first, why the plane crashed and, second, how the search and rescue operation was carried out.

Sinkevičius said that the ministry’s Transport Accident and Incident Investigation Division would have do determine why the aircraft crashed into the Baltic Sea. The minister explained that the plane would have to be salvaged from the sea in order to determine the cause of the accident.

Furthermore, the minister said that Sweden did not immediately transfer exact coordinates of An-2 airplane on 16 May, but did so on Sunday morning, 17 May. Allegedly this was done because the data was classified and military secrets could have been disclosed otherwise. Meanwhile, the aircraft had not been detected either by military or civilian radars of Lithuania. According to Sinkevičius, this is normal as there are certain uncontrolled airspace zones when planes fly at low altitude or are far from the radar, in this case 97 nautical miles away.

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