N.S. Efforts in Swissair Crash Aftermath

Communications Nova Scotia

September 3, 1998 11:55 AM

Nova Scotia will spare no effort in supporting the family and
friends of the passengers and crew of Swissair Flight 111,
Premier Russell MacLellan said today.

"This province will open its doors and its arms to those who lost
loved ones, many of whom will be coming to Nova Scotia in the
hours and days ahead," said the premier.

He said he has instructed the provincial government to provide
whatever assistance family and friends require while in the
province.

Overnight, as the scope of the tragedy became apparent, staff at
Halifax Tourism began contacting hotels in the Halifax area for
rooms to accommodate victims' families and airline officials.

Halifax Tourism is arranging for up to 900 hotel rooms to be
held, said David Oxner, executive director of Tourism Nova
Scotia. Another 40 rooms are required by Transport Canada
investigators.

Mr. Oxner said Tourism Nova Scotia has advised visitor
information centres provincewide that Peggy's Cove will be closed
to visitors until further notice.

Meanwhile, hundreds of Nova Scotians continue recovery efforts
along the coastline and in the water off Peggy's Cove where
Swissair Flight 111 went down late Wednesday.

Environment Department staff are at the site to assist where
needed. Inspectors have already begun conducting sweeps of the
shoreline to assess cleanup requirements. Officials believe about
200 tonnes of jet fuel were dumped into St. Margarets Bay as the
pilot prepared to attempt an emergency landing.

"This is a monumental tragedy we're dealing with here," said
Environment Minister Don Downe. "We have to express our gratitude
and thanks to countless Nova Scotians, many of them volunteers
who have come to help."

Mr. Downe said people have been bringing food and blankets to
emergency workers; some have offered their homes as places to
rest. Churches in the area have opened their doors to comfort the
grieving.

Government staff are also working with military personnel at
Canadian Forces Base Shearwater to set up a temporary morgue.
Natural Resources transported 150 stretchers to the base this
morning. Workers from Transportation and Public Works have
constructed autopsy rooms.

At the Health Department, senior officials continued to monitor
the situation and provide assistance where required. As of this
morning, one ambulance and a paramedics team remained at Peggy's
Cove.

After an RCMP report of the crash came into the Emergency Health
Services dispatch centre at 10:39 p.m. Wednesday, 21 emergency
units were ordered to respond. The units came from the Halifax
area, the South Shore and the Annapolis Valley.

The province's air ambulance was activated and flew to a field
near the crash site. By 11:15 p.m., the Queen Elizabeth II Health
Sciences Centre in Halifax was on emergency alert, and Dartmouth
General, South Shore Regional and IWK-Grace hospitals were
informed of the situation.

At about 3:30 a.m., as it became less likely that survivors would
be found, the hospital's emergency alert was cancelled and
Emergency Health Services units also stood down.

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NOTE TO NEWS EDITORS/DIRECTORS: Information regarding visitor
support will be updated as arrangements are made. If you require
any additional information contact Jim Vibert at 902-424-4886 or
Maggie Marwah at 902-424-2878. Please do not call Halifax
Tourism.

ngr                 Sept. 3, 1998                 11:55 a.m.