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Bob Thomson describes scene of Erebus crash

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Audio file

Bob Thomson, superintendent of the Antarctic Division of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, confirms that there are no survivors of the crash and predicts that it is unlikely that all the bodies will be recovered.

Transcript

Bob Thomson: They [the New Zealand mountaineers first to arrive at the crash site] saw very very little of an aircraft. There was obviously a major burn. There's a suggestion that there may have been an explosion. In fact it appears there was an explosion on impact. It must have gone in very hard and so you know things happened very quickly after that.

Interviewer: You confirmed quite early this afternoon that there were no survivors?

Bob Thomson: Yup, that's correct. I think that's the important thing. There are certainly no survivors.

Interviewer: Were the bodies clearly visible?

Bob Thomson: Some, about 50 or 60 bodies are visible. Others, well they may be buried under the snow. There's so much snow movement there. There's been quite an amount of wind and the snow in the area is very light, very dry and it drifts over the material very very quickly.

Interviewer: What chance is there then that all the bodies will be recovered?

Bob Thomson: I would say very little chance of recovering all bodies. I'd say it's hard to say really until one gets down there and has a look oneself.

Part of: Hearing the news

Credit

Sound file: Radio New Zealand Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero. Any re-use of this audio is a breach of copyright. To request a copy of the recording, contact Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero. Reference: Morning report 1979-11-29. News highlights compilation, 1963-1988, CD One, track 7.

Image: Bob Thomson, superintendent of the Antarctic Division of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, commentating during a scenic flight to Antarctica a week before the disaster. Still shot from Erebus Disaster: Lookout (TVNZ).

How to cite this page

Bob Thomson describes scene of Erebus crash, URL: https://nzhistory.govt.nz/media/sound/bob-thompson-describes-scene-erebus-crash, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated


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