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PUBLISHED: Apr 5, 2015 1:14am

Past air crashes that involved VIPs

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By:
Arfa Yunus

VIPs involved in air crashes in the past include former Foreign Affairs Minister Tun Mohd Ghazali Shafie and DRB Hicom Group chairman Tan Sri Yahaya Ahmad.

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 5, 2015:

A civilian helicopter carrying Rompin Member of Parliament Tan Sri Jamaluddin Jarjis crashed along Jalan Sungai Lalang in Kampung Pasir Baru, Semenyih, Kajang, yesterday evening.

The former Science, Technology and Innovation Minister was killed, along with five others in the crash.

This sadly is not the first time a VIP was involved in air crashes, with some perishing and others surviving the ordeal.

Here are some previous cases:

June 6, 1976:

The Double Six Crash, also known as the Double Six Tragedy, was a plane crash which took place in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. The plane was carrying 11 people, including then Sabah Chief Minister Tun Fuad Stephens, just seven weeks after he took office for a second term.

The other passengers on the flight were State Ministers Datuk Salleh Sulong, Datuk Peter Mojuntin, Chong Thien Vun, and assistant minister Darius Binion.

Others who perished were the then Secretary of State for the Ministry of Finance of Sabah Datuk Wahid Peter Andau, Director of Economic Planning Unit of Sabah Dr Syed Hussein Wafa, Isak Atan (Private Secretary to Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, Corporal Said Mohammad (bodyguard to Tun Fuad Stephens), Captain Gandhi Nathan (the pilot of the aircraft) and Tun Fuad’s eldest son Johari Stephens.

The aircraft was an Australian designed and built Nomad. The plane, operated by Sabah Air, coming from Labuan, crashed in the sub-district of Sembulan in Kota Kinabalu while approaching Kota Kinabalu International Airport.

The reason behind the crash is uncertain.

Immediately after the accident, there were allegations of foul play due to the political circumstances at the time.

The Australian government sent a team of four investigators to assist in finding the cause of the accident.

Mechanical failure was ruled out and preliminary investigations indicated overloading was one of the contributing factors.

The real reason for the crash remains a mystery and the original report on the incident remains classified.

January 10, 1982:

A Cessna 206 aircraft crashed at Kampung Janda Baik, near Genting Highlands. It was carrying then Foreign Affairs Minister Tun Mohd Ghazali Shafie, along with his guard and the pilot of the plane, en route from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Lipis.

Ghazali, or famously known as King Ghaz, was the only survivor in the light aircraft incident. The other two were killed in the crash.

The very next day, rumours were spreading that Ghazali might have been killed in the crash as his body had not been found. However, he was found 24 hours later somewhere around the crash site.

It was feared that if Ghazali, who had “battled” the communist terrorists as Home Minister from 1973 to 1981, was alive, he may have been captured by them.

March 2, 1997:

DRB Hicom Group chairman Tan Sri Yahaya Ahmad and wife Puan Sri Rohana Othman were killed in a helicopter crash near Kuala Lipis, Pahang, while on their way to visit his sick mother, Mandak Omar, in Marang, Terengganu.

The pilot of the helicopter, former Royal Malaysian Air Force Major (R) Azlizan Abdul Manas, was also killed in the incident.

The helicopter went off the radar screen and lost contact at 11.15pm on its way to Kuala Terengganu from Kuala Lumpur.

After a mid-air explosion, the six-seater Agusta A109P helicopter plunged 2,900m into rubber trees just metres away from houses in Kampung Along, Jerangsang, about 40 km southwest of Kuala Lipis.

May 5, 2013:

Then Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein (now Defence Minister) and his family escaped injuries when the helicopter they were in landed on its side due to strong winds at the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) base in Sungai Besi.

Hishammuddin, his wife Tengku Datin Seri Marsilla Tengku Abdullah, daughter and son-in-law were among the passengers.

The incident occurred at 3.30pm when Hishammuddin and his wife were returning to Kuala Lumpur from Johor on a chartered flight after casting their votes. The flight crew were also unhurt.

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