Hejce, January 19 (TASR) – The Hungarian and Slovak defence ministers, Tibor Benko and Peter Gajdos (SNS), respectively, paid tribute on Sunday to those killed when a Slovak military transport aircraft crashed near Hejce, Hungary 14 years ago.
The An-24 plane carrying Slovak soldiers from the KFOR peace-keeping mission in Kosovo crashed in mountainous terrain in Hungary only 50 kilometres from the planned destination of Kosice. Only one of the 43 people on board survived.
“I knew many of them personally as a former professional military man. It was really the biggest tragedy, one that moved the whole of Slovakia. Of course, we can’t reverse what happened, however much we want to. At any rate, the only real thing left to us is the promise that we’ll never forget. And I maintain that we mustn’t, either,” said Gajdos at the site of the accident.
The Slovak defence minister said that he’s met many of the bereaved several times. They’ve demanded that the case should be re-opened, as they believe that the crash was down to a technical fault and not human error as was officially concluded. Last year, they even announced that they’d file a lawsuit against the Slovak Republic.
Meanwhile, Gajdos said that he’s acquainted himself with the investigation dossier partly for personal reasons. “My friends and colleagues were there … We can go back to it several times, but I haven’t found anything that would support any conspiracy theories,” he added.