An Editorial from El Deber:
Every so often, irregularities occur on commercial flights in the country. Most of the failures that occurred, happily were not serious and are seldom known by the public. But when there is misfortune, they certainly shock. Likewise, if the misfortune was averted but was about to occur. The last case of Military Airlift (TAM) under the Bolivian Air Force enterprise, exemplifies this. It carried a popular La Paz soccer club team who was returning from Uruguay.
For reasons not yet fully explained, the airplane suffered a series of mishaps, when the engine failed, the oxygen masks dropped after a sharp decline and justified the created panic among troubled passengers. For the team on board, it was like reviving the drama of Viloco (1969) when a plane of Lloyd Aereo Boliviano (LAB) was precipitated in a remote mountain outpost, killing every team member of the club The Strongest. Luckily for the passengers of this flight of TAM, there was no repeat of the tragedy. Eventually they were able to land, frightened but unharmed. So far, it is not known correctly the causes of the problems that occurred and an official explanation of the TAM / FAB is expected. It was only reported that “the plane was not fit to fly,” but as if flew, this only adds another strong dose of concern.
Months ago a plane from Aerocon had a tragic mishap in Beni, with the loss of several lives. So far, there is no definitive report on this sad affair either. In a country with bad roads like ours, the plane has become almost the only expedient means of transport, especially when you need to save time and get there quickly [let alone the common and illegal road blockades that occur all year around]. All the more reason then for airlines to be properly controlled and every accident, however slight, must be reported and investigated thoroughly.
The lack of security on airplanes is added to the endemic insecurity in Bolivia’s dangerous roads. It is seen that neither in the air Bolivians can be safe. If we walk, we will almost certainly get robbed; if you drive a vehicle on any road or street, the danger of a collision is permanent and now, flying adds an extra fee of insecurity in the life of Bolivians. Let us hope that soon adequate controls are in place and that for the latter two incidents, briefly commented, information is disseminated. The people have the right to be properly informed
Editorial Board: Pedro F. Rivero Jordan, Juan Carlos Rivero Jordan, Tuffi Aré Vazquez, Lupe Cajías, Agustin Saavedra Weise and Percy Áñez Rivero.