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Slovakia commemorates crash victims

MILITARY and relatives went to Hejce, the Hungarian village near the Slovak-Hungarian border to commemorate the biggest accident in Slovak military history. The ceremony took place on January 19, the SITA newswire wrote.

MILITARY and relatives went to Hejce, the Hungarian village near the Slovak-Hungarian border to commemorate the biggest accident in Slovak military history. The ceremony took place on January 19, the SITA newswire wrote.

On January 19, 2006 the Slovak Air Force plane that was on its way from Pristina, Kosovo carrying Slovak peacekeepers and instructors who operated as part of the KFOR mission crashed only a few minutes before it was due to land in Košice. The accident claimed 42 lives and had only one survivor - Martin Farkaš.

Relatives, Slovak Defence Minister František Kašický, Hungarian representatives led by Deputy Minister of Defence Agnes Vadai, diplomats and locals attended the ceremony. They laid wreaths on the monument and lit candles.

In his address, Minister Kašický underscored that human life is incredibly precious and fragile, even though is difficult in many cases and unbearable at some moments. "The black Thursday on January 19, 2006 was such a moment for Slovakia. The airplane tragedy near Hejce shook really everybody," the minister said.

The main factor behind this tragedy was human error. During their landing approach, the crew did not use all available instruments, failed to maintain a safe altitude and crashed into the hill of Borsó.

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