Sat | Feb 27, 2021

Police struggling to secure Rocky Point crash site; Henry calls for urgent security of Vernamfield strip

Published:Sunday | January 24, 2021 | 12:32 PMCecelia Cambpell Livingston/ Gleaner Writer
Curious residents converge at the crash site of a 12-seater aeroplane last evening in Rocky Point, Clarendon (Nathaniel Stewart photo).

There has been little information emerging about the circumstances that led to the crash-landing of an aircraft in Rocky Point, Clarendon yesterday evening. 

The plane landed on White Sand Beach in the community. 

Gleaner checks yesterday evening showed that the 12-seater, twin engine plane is de-registered and its ownership is domiciled in Mexico.  

Police appear to have been struggling to protect the scene, as videos captured by The Gleaner, show residents infiltrating the site and wreckage to do their own 'investigations'. There have also been reports of scrapping.  

Speaking with our sister news centre, Radio Jamaica, head of the Clarendon Police, Superintendent Glenford Miller, said efforts to cordon off the site have been difficult because of the environment. The plane crashed in mangroves. 

Radio Jamaica reports that the Civil Aviation Authority is also gathering information on the plane.  

Urgent action needed at Vernamfield

Meanwhile, the incident has caused the Member of Parliament for Central Clarendon, Mike Henry to reiterate his call for security at the Vernamfield air strip, where it's speculated the plane could have been heading. 

Vernamfield is an old World War II, US Air Force base constructed on more than 2,000 acres of land. Jamaica, which was then under British colonial rule, had ceded the land to America in 1941.

Henry, who has been pushing for the development of the airstrip and was advancing work while he was Minister of Transport, is now hoping the effort will continue under the Office of the Prime Minister, which now has responsibility for the port.

The former Bruce Golding-led administration had also mooted relocating the Jamaica Defence Force to the site.

"There  is and will always be need to  take control of the corridor of the south coast area noted for illegal use by exchange of drugs for guns and narcotics," Henry stressed, adding that action needs to be taken urgently. 

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