New Zealand commemorates 1979 disaster

Nov. 27, 2004 at 5:49 PM

HAMILTON, New Zealand, Nov. 27 (UPI) -- Cathedral bells will toll 257 times in Hamilton, New Zealand, Sunday -- the 25th anniversary of 257 people dying in a DC-10 plane crash.

The New Zealand Herald reported Saturday that there would be church services nationwide to mark the anniversary of the tragedy in which the 237 passengers and 20 crew of a DC-10 sightseeing flight to Antarctica died when the plane hit the base of Mount Erebus Nov. 28, 1979.

It was the worst peace-time disaster in New Zealand's history.

Church services will also be held at Scott Base and nearby McMurdo Station in Antarctica, which will be attended by Sir Edmund Hillary and New Zealand's Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff.

Goff plans to fly by helicopter, weather permitting, and to a memorial cross near the crash site about 30 miles from Scott Base to lay an artificial wreath.

Auckland will host three ceremonies. A noon service at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Parnell will be the main focus of the country's commemorations, the Herald said.

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