Further inquiry needed to determine cause of crash that killed former UN chief

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Dag Hammarskjöld. UN File Photo/MB

Member States of the United Nations are being asked to declassify or make available information related to the circumstances surrounding the death of former Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld more than 50 years ago.

The appeal comes from the current UN chief, Ban Ki-moon.

He said further investigation will be needed to determine what caused the plane crash that killed Mr Hammarskjöld and 15 people accompanying him on a peace mission to the Congo in September 1961.

Dianne Penn reports.

An expert and independent panel was appointed in March into the death of Mr Hammarskjöld.

Its work involved examining and assessing new information, including that related to various theories of what had caused the crash.

Farhan Haq, spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, had this to say about the report.

"It found new information relating to "crew fatigue" which contributes to one or more of the hypothesis. Most importantly, the Panel found new information, which it assessed as having moderate probative value, sufficient to further pursue aerial attack or other interference as a hypothesis of the possible cause of the crash." 

Based on these findings, the Secretary-General said further inquiry or investigation will be necessary to finally establish the facts. 

He urged countries to declassify any information on the circumstances surrounding the crash and to provide any relevant records. 

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 56″

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