As of yesterday, CNMI authorities still refused to release the names of the three fatalities as well as the four survivors of Sunday’s crash of a Star Marianas commuter plane.
Marvin K. Seman, special assistant for CNMI Homeland Security and Emergency Management, said he understands that there’s a lot of request for the release of the names, but that they want to ensure that they first inform the victims’ families or their next of kin about the accident.
Seman said they are also getting the families’ consent for the release of the names.
“This is a tragic incident. And also on our part we want to ensure that the information, the names that we got are accurate ones. We don’t want to violate their rights as well. That’s why it is taking long,” he said.
Citing sources, the media identified only the pilot as Luis Silva, a native of Mexico. Commonwealth Health officials described the two other fatalities and four survivors as Chinese tourists.
Guam chief medical examiner Dr. Aurelio Espinola was set to do an autopsy yesterday on the three fatalities.
Seman said a Federal Aviation Administration inspector is already on the ground doing the investigation since arriving on Tuesday. He can’t say, however, if the FAA inspector is already at the crash site on Tinian.
“We are coordinating with him. We are providing resources and support to speed up the process, not necessarily to speed it up but to help him in his efforts,” Seman said.
He said he can’t answer why there is no investigator from the National Transportation Safety Board.
Seman said his office and the Governor’s Office are thankful to all the responders, volunteers, and Red Cross that came out to support and put everything they’ve got on Sunday to locate the overdue aircraft.
“It is sad that there are some fatalities. Our prayers and condolences to the families as well. For the survivors, our prayers for them for their speedy recovery,” he said.