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Cablegate: Boeing 747 Crash Off Irish Coast

O 241132Z JUN 85
FM AMEMBASSY DUBLIN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3998
INFO AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY OTTAWA PRIORITY
AMCONSUL MONTREAL PRIORITY
AMCONSUL BOMBAY PRIORITY
AMCONSUL TORONTO PRIORITY
DEPTRANS WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS DUBLIN 02469

E.O. 12356: N/A
TAGS: EAIR ICAO CA EI IN VI
SUBJECT: BOEING 747 CRASH OFF IRISH COAST

1. BEGIN SUMMARY: ON JUNE 23, AT 0813 A BOEING 747
JET (AIR INDIA 182) ENROUTE FROM MONTREAL TO BOMBAY WITH
325 PASSENGERS AND CREW ON BOARD CRASHED SOME 80 MILES
OFF THE IRISH COAST. THERE ARE NO KNOWN SURVIVORS.
RECOVERY OPERATIONS CONTINUE. END SUMMARY.

2. ON JUNE 24 THE IRISH DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
SENT THE FOLLOWING NOTICE TO THE U.S. EMBASSY.

QUOTE: THE DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS REGRETS TO HAVE
TO INFORM THE EMBASSY AS FOLLOWS:

A BOEING 747 AIRCRAFT OF AIR INDIA, COUNTRY OF MANU-
FACTURE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, WAS LOST ON 23 JUNE
1985 AT 0713 HOURS GMT (UTC), AT 51 DEGREES N 12.05
DEGREES W. THE AIRCRAFT WAS FLIGHT AI 182 FROM MONTREAL
TO LONDON. THREE HUNDRED TWENTY-FIVE (325) PERSONS WERE
ABOARD. THE REGISTRATION NUMBER WAS VTEFO. BODIES AND
RECOVERAGE HAVE BEEN OBSERVED. AS OF THE PRESENT TIME,
1900 HOURS, 23 JUNE, APPROXIMATELY 60 BODIES HAVE BEEN
RECOVERED AND ARE BEING LANDED IN IRELAND AT CORK. NO
SURVIVORS HAVE BEEN OBSERVED. THE PRESENT NOTE IS SENT
IN ACCORDANCE WITH ICAO, AND IS BASED ON CURRENT
INFORMATION. UNQUOTE.

3. MEDIA REPORTS INDICATE THAT THE BOEING 747 (AIR INDIA
182) FLYING FROM MONTREAL TO NEW DELHI AND BOMBAY WITH A
PLANNED REFUELING STOP AT LONDON'S HEATHROW AIRPORT, AT
0800 HOURS ON JUNE 23 ENTERED THE SHANNON AIR TRAFFIC
CONTROL AREA. AT 0813 THE PLANE DISAPPEARED FROM THE
RADAR SCREEN. AIR INDIA 182 CRASHED INTO THE ATLANTIC
APPROXIMATELY 80 MILES SOUTHWEST OF THE KERRY COAST.
TWO HUNDRED SEVENTY EIGHT OF THESE WERE CANADIAN CITIZENS
AND THE REMAINDER WERE PRESUMABLY INDIAN CITIZENS. (WE
HAVE CHECKED WITH DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND THE
CANADIAN EMBASSY, WHICH HAS A MANIFEST OF THE PASSENGERS
ON BOARD AI 182, AND BOTH INDICATE THAT NO US CITIZENS
SEEM TO HAVE BEEN ON BOARD THE CRAFT).

4. THERE HAD BEEN NO INDICATION OF CONCERN FROM THE
AIRCRAFT PRIOR TO ITS DISAPPEARANCE FROM THE RADAR SCREEN.
THE PLANE'S WREAKAGE WAS SPREAD OVER A FOUR TO FIVE MILE
AREA. FOLLOWING THE CRASH THE SHANNON MARINE RESCUE
CENTER INITIATED AN INTERNATIONAL RESCUE MISSION IN
COOPERATION WITH THE IRISH AIR CORPS, RAF, AND US ARMY
ELEMENTS. THESE RESCUE AND RECOVERY OPERATIONS CONTINUED
THROUGHOUT JUNE 23 UNTIL 11:00 P.M. AT NIGHT RECOVERING
BODIES. AS OF MONDAY, JUNE 24, SOME 70 BODIES HAD BEEN
RECOVERED AND TRANSPORTED TO TEMPORARY MORTUARY FACILITIES
IN THE CORK AREA.

5. IRISH AND INDIAN AIR SAFETY OFFICIALS ARE NOW INVESTI-
GATING THE AIRCRAFT DISASTER WITH MOST EXPERTS ALLEGING A
BOMB AS THE MOST PROBABLE CAUSE.


BOYLE

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