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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release September 3, 1998
                  ON CRASH OF SWISS AIR/DELTA FLIGHT 111

                     (As Delivered in Pittsburgh, PA)

I want to say a few brief words about the terrible disaster that struck Swiss Air and Delta Flight 111 late last night, causing the plane to plunge into the water off the coast of Nova Scotia.

I know I speak for all Americans when I say that our hearts are heavy with the news of this loss. As we wait for further details, I want to say to the families and friends of all passengers and crew members: we grieve with you, we pray with you -- and we will do anything we can to help you through this sudden and sorrowful tragedy.

We have already offered Canadian authorities the full might of our federal government in coping with this disaster. Our National Transportation Safety Board has sent a team of experts to help investigate the disaster, and a separate team to help the families who are now arriving at JFK Airport in New York. We are working very closely with our Department of Transportation, which is coordinating offers of assistance from a broad range of federal agencies. We stand ready to help the Canadian authorities notify and assist the families who have been touched by this loss; to help recover the wreckage; and then to gather all the facts behind this terrible incident -- so that we can do more to prevent these kinds of tragedies in the future.

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