The Liberian Government and its counterpart in Guinea have jointly launched an investigation into the Guinean military plane crash in Liberia on February 11, 2013, killing Guinea's Army Chief of Staff, Brigadier General Souleymane Kelefa Diallo, and 10 others, including crew members.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, the Director General of the Liberia Aviation Authority, Richelieu Williams, said that the investigative team from Guinea compressed of 11 persons, including military personnel, manufacturer, investigators and representatives from an insurance company. The United States Government has offered to assist in the investigation after the aircraft's black box was retrieved.
Mr. Williams said the investigation will be more professional and conducted in secrecy in order to get the needed result, and that the both countries will continue to remain good friends as they have always been.
The late Gen. Souleymane Kelefa Diallo was leading a high-powered delegation to Monrovia to grace celebrations for the 56th Armed Forces Day of Liberia when the crash occurred in Charlesville, a town near the Roberts International Airport in Margibi County.
The Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of Liberia President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf immediately led a high level government delegation to the site where the Casa CN-235 crash landed, bursting in flames near the Roberts International Airport about 45kms (28 miles) south of Monrovia.
All 11 charred bodies were subsequently pulled out of the wreckage and taken to the Du-Side Hospital in Harbel operated by one of the world's biggest rubber plantations, Firestone Company. The bodies were later flown onboard a UN plane escorted by high level Liberian Government delegation headed by Defense Minister J. Bownie Samukai to Conakry.
"This accident cost the lives of six members of the delegation, including General Souleymane Kelefa Diallo, head of the armed forces, and five members of the crew," Guinea's Defense Minister Abdoul Kabele Camara, said in a statement. Reuter's news agency reported that the late Gen. Diallo was one of the main architects of reforms in the Guinean military.