Shuttle Crash: Authorised Lines to Take
The Natopian Spacefleet is facing bitter criticism over today's crash of an ageing Dingo-class shuttle that killed about 136 people.
Reports say the shuttlecraft had experienced technical problems all morning, causing the take-off to be delayed for hours.
Natopian media also say the pilot had asked twice to return to Lindstrom military airport to make an emergency landing, but was refused because it was busy.
Officials at the Court of the Verdant Gardens have strongly denied any suggestion of negligence.
However, Isabella Kalirion, the Secretary for Defence, said that the Court would investigate the crash.
"We have taken upon ourselves the task of following up this subject, so that, if anyone is to blame in this connection, they can be identified," Minister Kalirion said.
"If people who should have performed their legal duties committed any negligence, it will be investigated and the result will be made public after the initial stages.
"It is not possible to say that the aircraft took off with a mechanical problem, because our orbital shuttles are thoroughly checked the day before the flight," she added.
The modified Dingo Class Shuttle, a 24-seater variant believed to have been leased to the ESB-Jörmungandr Group during the Euran War came down in the grounds of the Council of Elders, the meeting place of the House of Ayreon-Kalirion. It is believed that the pilot, Flight Lieutenant Cathay Miéville, was aiming to bring her crippled shuttle down in Great Forest Park and thereby avoid the densly populated residential areas of the capital.
A Rapid Response Group from the NDF's Aurochssturm Division quickly arrived on the scene to isolate and extract the shuttle's fusion impulse drive from the wreckage. However, casualties amongst this group, drawn from the 3rd Naval Infantry Brigade, were especially severe (110 fatalities out of 524 personnel deployed) owing to localised exposure to in excess of 1 sievert (100 rems) of external radiation. Nonetheless the Rapid Response Group was successful in its mission and catastrophic fallout has been prevented. Liquidators are now on the scene handling de-contamination efforts.
The shuttle hit the barracks of the Leonid Guard, the bodyguard of the House of Ayreon-Kalirion, who are currently locked in an industrial dispute with their employer over claims of negligence by Guardsmen in the Kingdom of Goldshire. 25 were believed to have perished in the crash, with the remainder being removed to the Defence Forces HQ for decontamination and debriefing. Around half the Leonid Guard had obeyed the order of the Queen of Goldshire to return to Shireroth, while the remainder were subject to a debate in the Frenzy concerning their status. It is expected that their final fate will be determined by the Supreme Court.
The names of the Leonid Guardsmen and women killed in the crash have been notified to the authorities as being:
The bodies of the deceased have been dissolved in nitric acid (aqua fortis) and the residue poured into sealed lead caskets to prevent environmental contamination. The Minister of Defence has reported the matter to the Emperor and is believed to have recommended all of the deceased for the Gold Cross of Sovereignty.Karekin Azaziah Hovanesian
Festus Zadok Charmchi
Gemariah Ithai Rostami
Mahmoud Iared Hovanesian
Rufus Bagrat Nazarian
Menachem Rouben Gevorgian
Mordokhay Mahammad Rostami
Phestos Arsen Hagopian
Jonathan Filippu Gevorgian
Naveed Eliseus Sarkisian
Ozazias Jephthah Amirmoez
Shahrazad Roghayeh Nazarian (f.)
Günel Achinoam Mooshian (f.)
Katar Sarai Baghdassarian (f.)
Basemath Khachaturian (f.)