Families of Plane Crash Victims in Brazil Accuse Government of Insensitivity

Families protest against TAM In São Paulo, relatives of the victims of Brazil's latest and deadliest air accident joined the families of the 154 people – second worst air crash – who were killed on September 29 in an air accident over the Amazon, to protest what they call "authorities neglect."

They read a manifesto condemning the homages and decorations given employees of the National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) when the nation was still officially mourning the about 200 victims of the new air crash. In the document, the group revealed that ANAC's officials refused to receive the families for a meeting and only accepted to get together with six of them after considerable pressure.

"In the first meeting," says the statement, Denise Abreu, one of the ANAC's official who was honored, received the relatives saying: "You are smart, the plane fell from a height of 36,000 feet, at 250 miles an hour and what do you expect? Bodies?"

The document accuses ANAC's employees of being insensitive, aggressive and disrespectful.

"These same people are still in the same position getting decorations. We are disappointed with our country," said Angelita De Marchi, president of the association that gathers the families of the Gol's accident victims.

Meanwhile families of those killed in the latest crash are getting mad at the time that's taking to identify the bodies. The coroner's office has already warned that the identification work may take months. Some are accusing authorities of rushing to identify celebrities like the House Representative who was in the plane and forgetting the rest.

Osório Pereira, a doctor, whose son, Guilherme Pereira, died in the TAM crash blames his son's death on irresponsibility. Citing press reports, he reminded that two airplanes had skidded off the Congonhas runway the day before the accident and besides, he says, the aircraft should not fly without a non-working thrust reverser as it was admitted by the airline. 

"The blame belongs to TAM. If the tarmac is not good the plane cannot land. If there is something wrong with the aircraft, it should not fly. And the blame also belongs to the government. They are all irresponsible. When is this going to stop?" the bereaved father asks. 

He doesn't want to get the crackers, the cheese, the free tickets and psychologists, he says. And he accuses TAM of not caring and being interested only in making more money, adding:

"I don't want everybody to lose his trust in the country, but I lost mine. It died together with my son."

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