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Aboriginals uninjured in Bombay plan fire



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mmm L31/75

fiBORIGINflLS UNINJURED IN BOMBAY PLANE FIRE

(Statement by the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Mr Les Johnson)

The Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Mr Johnson, said today he had

been informed by the Department of Foreign Affairs that 40 Aboriginal passengers

on an Air France jumbo jet, which caught fire in Bombay yesterday, were unhurt.

The party, from the Northern Territory was on a visit to Europe.

Mr Johnson said he had arranged for the Aboriginal communities in

the Northern Territory from which the passengers had come, to be advised that

they were safe and well, although naturally distressed by their experience.

Mr Johnson said he had ordered an inquiry to discover if the pilgrims

had lost luggage, passports and other personal possesions in the fire.

"If we learn these people.ere stranded because of this unfortunate

incident we will take all possible steps to assist them", he said.

"It could be that they have lost their clothing, passports, travellers'

cheques and cash in the fire.

"I have instructed my Department to maintain constant liaison with

the Foreign Affairs Department to ensure that the pilgrims are properly cared

for in all respects", Mr Johnson said.

CANBERRA, A.C.T. ■

13 June, 1975.