MEXICO CITY — 28 days after the LAMIA 2933 accident in the hills of Medellin, Colombia’s aviation authority, Aeronáutica Civil (Aerocivil), has presented a preliminary report regarding the investigation of this tragedy that took the life of 71 of its occupants.
The investigation efforts gathered a team of 23 investigators from Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia, United Kingdom, and United States, during which heavy mobilization -through both land and air- to the site of the crash was involved and a thorough interviewing of survivors, witnesses, search team members, and expert crews was performed.
The flight data recorders (black boxes), both found within 24 hours of the crash, were transferred to the United Kingdom for their respective reading and analysis under the custody of three Colombian investigators.
Likewise, another team of three Aerocivil investigators, led by Colonel Fredy Bonilla, Secretary of Aviation Safety, was sent to Bolivia for the further analysis of documents and other evidence with the local aviation and prosecution authorities of the country. During this process, Bolivia’s aviation authority, Administración de Aeropuertos y Servicios Auxiliares a la Navegación Aérea (AASANA), did not dispose nor provide the solicited information.
According to the preliminary report, the investigators did not identify any technical failures that could have caused or contributed to the accident, nor was any evidence of sabotage or suicide found. The evidence gathered suggests that the aircraft suffered of fuel exhaustion and was virtually destroyed.
The magnitude of the impact and the subsequent damages to the aircraft also indicate that no fire was involved, and that there was minimal chance of survival for both passengers and crew. Only 6 of the 77 occupants survived the crash.
Based on the preliminary report, the LAMIA accident investigation will continue and will shift its focus to aspects such as organization, operational oversight and supervision, fuel planning, decision making, and survival.
Colombia’s Aerocivil has stated that it will publish the final investigation report in April of 2017.