Monday, August 15, 2005

Athens plane crash - SMS hoaxer arrested

Greek police have arrested a man they say hoaxed TV stations by saying he had received a mobile phone message from a cousin on an airliner which said the passengers were freezing cold shortly before it crashed. The man had told reporters that the message read, "The pilot has turned blue. Cousin farewell, we're freezing". The SMS message used in headlines throughout the world has been proved false. "The man did not receive any message from the plane and has been charged with spreading false information," a police spokesman is quoted as saying [Reuters]. Police said they spotted the hoax when they realised that the name of the passenger who had allegedly sent the SMS was not on the airliner's passenger list. The Helios Airways Boeing 737 crashed into mountains near Athens on Sunday, killing all 115 passengers and six crew. The ‘black boxes’ have been recovered but the Cockpit Voice Recorder was said to be substantially damaged. The cause of the crash is still unknown but a loss of cabin pressure is thought to have played a part.
[22:58 GMT 15/08/2005]

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