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The UN has released another report about the airplane crash, which in 1961 took the life of the then Secretary General of the United Nations, Swede Dag Hammarskjöld writes Sveriges Radio. The report, which was transmitted to the General Assembly on 25 October, found it “appears plausible” that an external attack or threat may have led to the fatal plane crash. The DC6 plane crashed just after midnight on 18 September 1961, near Ndola (then Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia), killing Mr Hammarskjöld and 14 of the 15 members of the party accompanying him. The sole survivor succumbing to injuries a few days later. “There is a significant amount of evidence from eyewitnesses that they observed more than one aircraft in the air, that the other aircraft may have been a jet, that SE-BDY was on fire before it crashed, and/or that SE-BDY was fired upon or otherwise actively engaged by another aircraft,” noted Eminent Person Mohamed Chande Othman in his report. The report further concluded that it is almost certain that Mr Hammarskjöld and the members of his party were not assassinated after landing and that all passengers died from injuries sustained during the plane crash, either instantaneously or soon after.
Exploring whether a sabotage – possibly a bomb planted on the plane and activated before landing – led to the crash, “as part of a plot to ‘remove’ Hammarskjöld,” Mr Othman reported that he attempted to obtain access from South Africa to the ‘Operation Celeste’ documents, which concern this claim, but at the time of writing his report, access to the documents had not been granted.
UN Secretary General António Guterres called on UN Member States to make available information concerning the 56-year-old incident. The Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs,Margot Wallström, commented on the newly released report in a statement, saying that the UN and all the member states must do everything in their power to understand out what happened to flight SE-BDY. Wallström and the Swedish government welcomed the new report and the Secretary General’s recommendations regarding how to proceed. Wallström called all nations to make known any documentation which could lead to an answer of the cause of Hammarskjöld’s death.