Door 'kept victims
in blazing plane'
A fire expert said today that the door of a blaz- ing Constellation was the most difficult he had at- tempted to open in his 24
years of fire-flghting.
Thirty-three people trapped in the plane lost
their lives after the Con- stellation crashed at Kal lang airport on March 13.
John Henry Cartwright, a civilian fire expert attached to the R.A.F. at Singapore, told a public inquiry into the crash:
"The door should have been far more simple to ope-
"Aid to break out of a crashed aircraft should come from within.
"A crash party is a last
"Simplicity is the first es- sential in a case like this, where the door might have to be operated by the general public."
Mr. Justice Knight, presi- dent of the inquiry, asked Cartwright whether R.A.F. fire services at Changi, Singapore, would have been able to rescue the passengers if the Constellation had crashed there.
Cartwright replied, "That is a very ticklish question.
"But I would have consid- ered I had failed in my duty if lives were lost."