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E tu Aviation to mark Erebus tragedy 40th anniversary

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Every year E tū organises a commemoration service on 28 November to mark the anniversary of the Erebus tragedy. This year is the 40th anniversary.

The service marks the moment Air New Zealand Flight 901 crashed into Mt Erebus, killing all 257 people on board, including 20 crew members.

It is New Zealand's deadliest peacetime disaster, as well as the deadliest accident in Air New Zealand’s history.

E tū aviation members and union representatives will gather at the Erebus Crew Memorial garden at Auckland Airport for the service, which will include the traditional laying of wreaths.

The service will start at 1300 and last approximately one hour.

In Auckland, there will also be a private ceremony at Government House, attended by the Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern and the Governor General, Dame Patsy Reddy who will meet with representatives of the Erebus families.

During both ceremonies a minute silence will be observed at 1.49pm (12.49 NZST) - the time the crash occurred.

E tū, the union for cabin crew is inviting all New Zealanders to stop what they are doing and remember the events of that day.

"Erebus changed a nation," says E tÅ«’s Head of Aviation, Savage, speaking on behalf of the union’s 7800 aviation workers.

"257 people from New Zealand and around the world died. This was one of our worst industrial accidents, a day when 20 aviation workers lost their lives.

"It changed the way the whole world thought about aviation safety and about our shared responsibilities to put safety first," he says.

"We invite all New Zealanders wherever they are in the world to pause for a minute and reflect on the event and the importance of safety at work and the responsibility we all have to look out for one another."

In a sad coda, the day is also the 11th anniversary of the crash involving an Air NZ A320 which crashed off the coast of Perpignan in France in 2008, claiming the lives of seven people including five New Zealand aviation workers.

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