London — A British team investigating the Air India jumbo jet crash off the Irish coast in June said Saturday there was no proof a bomb exploded on board, raising fears a structural defect in the Boeing 747 might have been the cause.
A Japanese Air Lines jetliner that crashed Monday, killing 520 people, also was a Boeing 747. A Member of Parliament urged that efforts be mounted to recover the Indian jetliner’s wreckage in 6,000 feet of water 110 miles southwest of Ireland.
“There is no positive evidence yet to suggest that a bomb was to blame,” said Geoffrey Wilkinson, head of a British scientific team India invited, to study data from the Air India jet’s voice and flight recorder.
He said a study of the cockpit recorder at a British accident investigation center revealed only a “sharp edged bang” lasting & quarter of a second.
Wilkinson said the finding had led investigators to compare the “bang” to sounds by “other destructive forces such as lightning or explosive decompression” but more study was needed. Initial reports indicated investigators suspected a bomb caused the Air India crash.
Japanese investigators were investigating whether a rear bulkhead gave way on the JAL jetliner, causing depressurization and air to rush from the cabin into the tail section, tearing it off.
A total of 520 people died in the JAL crash on a remote mountainside ‘in Japan the worst aviation disaster involving a single plane.
Wilinson declined to comment on the Japanese crash.
The Air India crash on June 23 killed all 329 people aboard the worst air disaster at sea when the 747 jumbo jets plunged without warning from 31,000 feet into the ocean off Cork, Ireland.
Kenneth Warren, Conservative Party Member of Parliament and a former aeronautical engineer dealing with flight safety, said the Air India jetliner crash could have been caused by.
Article extracted from this publication >> August 23, 1985