Well this week Romanian journalists haven’t had to resort to stealing videos and photos because there’s been non-stop coverage of a domestic incident, the crash of a plane (link in English) in the Apuseni Mountains near Cluj.
This story is still ongoing and I’ve been closely monitoring the media but I’ve decided to hold off on a lengthy article because it seems like every hour there are new revelations about just how much this truly was a complete and utter clusterfuck.
A few things known so far:
1) The plane, carrying four doctors, two pilots and a student nurse, were on a government plane (belonging to the Interior Ministry) transporting organs from Bucharest for a transplant operation in Oradea.
2) The plane crashed in a remote mountainous area on the Cluj-Alba border in heavy fog a few minutes after 4:00 pm. Initially all the people on board were still alive after the crash.
3) The pilot died shortly (approximately 20 minutes) after the crash. One doctor, who was the least injured, heroically did his best to keep everyone else alive, all of whom were quite severely injured. The student nurse later died of hypothermia and four members of the team are in the hospital now.
4) Despite having (Romanian-made) software on board that could identify their location and an emergency transponder and the survivors making multiple phone calls to emergency services (112), it took more than six hours for rescuers to arrive.
5) In the end it was a handful of local folks who saved the day.
That’s the crux of it, although like I said, there are lots and lots of details as the media and everyone else begins to work on unraveling how this happened. Once we can get a handle on how this truly went down, I’ll be sure to publish a full report. If you’re bursting to tell me things that I didn’t mention, please understand that I’ve got 45 tabs bookmarked and about 20 news videos downloaded so I assure you I’m probably aware of what’s been reported.
However, one thing is immediately obvious, which is the Romanian system of governance and administration has once again failed its own people through a combination of stupidity, incompetence, poor organization and of course the requisite arrogance of never admitting wrongdoing or mistakes.
About the only “good” news to come out of this is that the Romanian public is angry enough that there might ultimately be some system-wide changes as a result.