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NZ 'needs national Mt Erebus memorial'

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 31/10/2016
Wreckage from the Air New Zealand DC-10 that crashed on Mt Erebus killing 257 people. © AP Photo/The New Zealand Herald/PE Wreckage from the Air New Zealand DC-10 that crashed on Mt Erebus killing 257 people.

Efforts are underway to establish a national memorial for the 257 people who died in the 1979 Mt Erebus disaster in time for the 40th anniversary.

The anniversary, in 2019, will be a suitable time for one to be opened, says the spokesman for a group behind the idea, aviation historian and chaplain Richard Waugh QSM.

"New Zealand as a nation continues to be profoundly affected by the tragedy and it is a pastoral and public oversight that nothing has yet been done to establish a national memorial to the Mt. Erebus accident victims, especially for the many families involved," Dr Waugh said in a statement.

No location or funding plan has yet been decided and there was no plan to visit the cause of the accident. The group wanted to put the controversy of the accident to one side and focus on a national memorial.

Air New Zealand flight TE901, a DC-10, crashed into the Antarctic volcano on November 28, 1979, killing all 257 people on board.

The group has set up a website, www.erebusnationalmemorial.nz, where more information is available and people can register their support and ideas for the memorial.

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