With the 40th anniversary of the Erebus accident to be marked in 2019, the New Zealand government is initiating a project to construct a national memorial. Erebus remains one of New Zealand's worst civil accidents in terms of loss of life, the scale of loss shocked the nation.
Image: A final design for the National Erebus Memorial has been selected: Te Paerangi Ataata - Sky Song.
On the morning of 28 November 1979, Air New Zealand Flight TE901 left Auckland for an 11-hour return sightseeing flight to Antarctica. At 12.49 p.m. (NZST) the aircraft crashed into the lower slopes of Mt Erebus on Ross Island, Antarctica, killing all 257 passengers and crew.
Erebus remains one of New Zealand's worst accidents in terms of loss of life, the scale of loss shocked the nation. The plane was lost from the fleet of the national carrier; Air New Zealand was in full state ownership at that time.
The accident was significant in international terms; at the time it was the world's fourth worst aviation accident and there were 57 overseas nationals (mostly from Japan and the United States) on the flight.
The plane was lost in Antarctica, a continent with which New Zealanders have a special relationship but which very few will visit, which is why there is support for a memorial within New Zealand.
With the 40th anniversary of the accident to be marked in 2019, the New Zealand Government is initiating a project to construct a national memorial. The project will be led by Manatū Taonga the Ministry for Culture and Heritage.
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