Passengers still waiting for official explanation

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 May, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 27 May, 1998, 12:00am

I was also a passenger on the Flores jetfoil which crashed more than two weeks ago and as I had to be admitted to hospital subsequently, I am keenly interested in the circumstances which surround the incident.

I find it extraordinary that, since the accident, the only coherent explanation as to what happened has been forthcoming from Dr David Anderson, a passenger, as a result of his own investigation (letter, South China Morning Post, May 14).

We are indebted to him for having evidently made a considerable effort to get to the bottom of the matter and share his information with other concerned members of the public. Other passengers and I still await an official explanation (and formal apology) from the owning company.

I am also personally indebted to Dr Anderson for his reassuring professional presence and assistance on the day of the accident.

It was thanks to a few doctors such as he that the more seriously injured passengers were given medical aid and attended to first by the rescue staff. Incidentally, no one thought to ask if there were any doctors on board and it was left to them to volunteer their assistance.

The insistence with which public relations executive Pansy Ho praised the 'fully trained staff' on the Flores at a subsequent press conference was highly provocative, given that she was not there and it was contrary to the first-hand accounts of those who were.

The claim that, according to their 'evidence', the management and staff performed to standard as trained professionals is quite simply wrong. At no stage after the event were passengers told what had happened, or advised of rescue operation details.

While a few of the crew appeared to do their best to assist dazed passengers with their life vests, by and large they were just as confused, scared and uncertain as the rest of us and it showed.