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Fri, Aug 19, 2005

Greek Investigators: It Wasn't Carbon Monoxide

But So Far, They Don't Rule Out Some Other Toxic Gas

Coroners in Greece say the passengers who were killed or incapacitated aboard a doomed Helios Airways 737 didn't suffer from carbon monoxide poisoning -- but refused to rule out some other substance in the air aboard the plane.

As ANN reported earlier this week, the Helios Airways 737-300 overflew the airport in Athens apparently unguided and crashed nearby, killing all 121 aboard.

Chief Athens coroner Fillipos Koutsafis told reporters he conducted tests for carbon monoxide because "this was the fastest test and the most secure. We are still doing tests for other gases, poisons, drugs and alcohol." Koutsafis was quoted by the Associated Press. "I don't know and can't rule out" the possibility that some other substance was involved, he said.

Tests for other contaminants won't be finished until next week, he said.

"We will shed ample light on the causes of this crash. There must not be any unanswered question. We owe this to this victims and their families," Justice Minister Anastatios Papaligouras said. And that may be his last word on the investigation until it's wrapped up. "I want to wait for the final report," he said.

FMI: www.flyhelios.com

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