The wreckage of the Lion Air passenger flight shot down by the LTTE in 1998 killing 48 passengers and 7 crew members, has been found, and the Navy is now exploring the possibility of salvaging what’s left of the plane, the Island newspaper reported today
The newspaper quoted security sources as saying that based on information provided by an LTTE cadre, a Navy diving team located the wreckage on the sea bed off Iranativu Island last week. The Navy team located two aircraft wings, three tyres, air craft engine and the front part of fuselage.
Asked whether the wreckage could be salvaged soon, a Navy official has told the newspaper that a diving team was scheduled to visit Iranativu to explore the possibility. The official said that if the operation was feasible, it could be carried out within the next two weeks.
The passenger plane went missing soon after takeoff from Jaffna on 29 September 1998 and was not found since.
The suspect in custody had identified the person who ordered the aircraft shot down as one Gadafi, a close associate of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran. Gadafi was killed during the final phase of fighting on the Vanni east front in early 2009.