Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Racing to the crash scene
We'd just touched down when the news came through. My producer got an SMS as we were just leaving our plane that an identical jet had just crashed on landing in Java. We'd just arrived on neighbouring Sumatra to cover an earthquake: The dilemma lasted a moment -- which story took priority? The next flight back to Jakarta was the very same plane that had just landed with us aboard. It was leaving in 30 minutes. So a sudden mad rush ensued, unloading our 27 bags from the plane, only to reload them minutes later as we desperately tried to buy our way back aboard. Three hundred bucks and a lot of sweat later we were back in our seats, heading back the route we'd just come, wondering if the day could get any more crazy.
A quick change of planes in Jakarta and then into to Solo. It was a wild landing -- the plane veering off course and me thinking surely lightning couldn't strike twice, could it? We made it, and we're now speeding through the Javanese countryside, dodging water buffalo and motorbikes, heading to the crash site, and hoping we make it before sundown. And amid all this rush sweat and adrelanine, a sombre reflection: We knew some of the journalists aboard Flight GA200, some now with horrendous burns, recovering in hospital. Makes you think, doesn't it ...
-- From Dan Rivers, CNN International Correspondent
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