Sarin gas materials 'on crash plane'
Thursday 01 October 1998
According to the authoritative NRC Handelsblad newspaper of Rotterdam, the plane was secretly carrying chemicals capable of making the gas from a chemicals plant in the US to the Israel Institute for Biological Research near Tel Aviv. The material was sufficient for the manufacture of 270 kilograms of sarin.
The Dutch government has always maintained that details of the cargo were unavailable. The newspaper obtained paperwork, which details the chemical under the "Skipper's declaration for dangerous goods".
Ron Manley, a United Nations chemical weapons expert in The Hague, said that the amount of chemicals suggested a use on a far greater scale than normal research purposes. Scientific research in European laboratories seldom used more than a few hundred grams per year. "It's a lot," said Mr Manley. "The amount of the material being transported could only be explained by the conducting of large-scale field experiments".
John Swanciger, the managing director of Solkatronic Chemicals Inc. of Pennsylvania, admitted that his company had occasionally supplied the Institute, which has been connected with the development of chemical weapons. Official investigations into the crash are known to have been hampered by the Israeli authorities.
Early reports by people at the crash scene of "mysterious men in white overalls" were ridiculed by the Israeli and Dutch authorities. But it was later admitted that the flight was carrying chemicals for military purposes, some of which are known to have seeped 20 metres into the subsoil. One of the flight's black box flight recorders is also said to have never been recovered.
- 1 Mario Balotelli: Staff at arson-hit Manchester Dogs' Home convinced Liverpool striker is behind five-figure donation
- 2 Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 4 The response to my Pizza Express review has been overwhelming, and taught me a lot about journalism
- 5 Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned into a PR disaster
Scottish independence: Despite defeat history may still point to Alex Salmond as the victor
Scottish independence referendum: Frankie Boyle reacts to nation's 'No' vote - 'To be fair, I've always hated Scotland'
Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Scottish referendum: Police struggle to control Unionist rally in Glasgow's George Square
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
£75 - £90 per day + negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Are you a cover supe...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...
£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...
£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...