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‘Do not destroy the only pathway to establishing the truth.’
That was the plea from Argyll and Bute MP Brendan O’Hara in a letter to the Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson after it emerged that the Ministry of Defence could be about to dispose of the files relating to the Chinook helicopter disaster that took place on the Mull of Kintyre in June 1994.
The deaths of 29 service personnel and high ranking police officers on a foggy evening 25 years ago remains the RAF’s worst peacetime loss of life. Yet despite a number of inquiries into the circumstance of the crash, no definitive answer has been found as to why the helicopter crashed into a hillside near the village of Southend.
Last Thursday in the House of Commons, Mr O’Hara demanded the government make an urgent statement on what exactly they intend to do with the files, saying: ‘Given the controversy that still surrounds the cause of this tragedy, I cannot understand why the MoD would ever consider this course of action.
‘There are many grieving families who are determined to get to the truth of what happened that awful evening and if they dispose of these files, the government could be destroying the only pathway to establishing the truth.’
He continued: ‘As we near the 25th anniversary of the tragedy, this MoD-fuelled speculation is particularly insensitive and will only cause further unnecessary pain to the families at what will be an already very difficult and emotional time.’