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Experts begin Indonesian plane crash investig -

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Experts begin Indonesian plane crash investigation

Broadcast: 08/03/2007

Reporter: Geoff Thompson

Crash experts from Australia have begun their investigations into the cause of a plane crash in


Well, Australian crash investigators have arrived in Yogyakarta and are helping their Indonesian
counterparts piece together the cause of yesterday's plane crash which killed more than 20 people.
An Indonesian official says preliminary indications are that the crash was caused by human error.
The two pilots escaped from the plane without suffering major injuries and are expected to be
questioned in the coming days. Indonesian correspondent Geoff Thompson filed this report from

GEOFF THOMPSON: Behind the charred skeleton of Garuda flight 200, operations returned to normal at
Yogyakarta's airport today. Indonesian crash investigators scoured for answers amidst the wreck.

MASRURI, INDONESIAN TRANSPORT SAFETY: We're looking for something there that might be important for
us and we will analyse it with the team.

GEOFF THOMPSON: The all-important black box has been found and is on its way to Australia for
analysis. In it may be answers as to why this happened yesterday. The 737 crash-landing and
burning, killing at least 21 people. These pictures were shot moments after the crash by Balinese
cameraman Wayan Sukarda. His colleague is among the injured being treated in Yogyakarta.

WAYAN SUKARDA, FREELANCE CAMERAMAN: The cabin just fall down, fall down and at the time many people
cry, many people hysteria.

GEOFF THOMPSON: Foreign Minister Alexander Downer visited some of the wounded yesterday. Tonight on
returning to Australia, he praised the embassy workers who have lost four of their colleagues.

ALEXANDER DOWNER, FOREIGN MINISTER: They work overseas in an environment where they're not only
working together like we all might do in our work place in Australia, but they're living together
as an Australian community. So the spouses know each other and they know the children and so on.
It's kind of an extended family and when something like this happens you can imagine the crushing
blow it is to the whole institution.

GEOFF THOMPSON: Survivors' accounts consistently say the plane came in too fast.

PROF. ADRIANUS MELIALA, SURVIVOR: I felt especially that the plane went down too fast, went down
too fast.

ALEXANDER DOWNER: There's a team of Australian experts who is there at the moment and the black box
itself will obviously be taken away from the crash scene, and the material on that will be examined
obviously by Indonesian, but also by Australian experts.

GEOFF THOMPSON: There were tears and anger at Indonesia's appalling transport record as families
identified the dead at the Sardjito Hospital morgue. The family of missing journalist Morgan
Mellish is being represented by the Australian Financial Review's Andrew Burrell.

ANDREW BURRELL, AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW: The official line is that Morgan is missing, presumed
dead. But it's believed that he has died in the accident.

GEOFF THOMPSON: Late today, Australian Federal Police are joining Indonesian investigators at the
crash site. Whatever conclusions investigators reach here, it's clear that Garuda is already trying
to control the damage to its reputation. Overnight, a serial number at the rear of the plane
identifying this as a Garuda wreck was covered over with white paint.