The Double Six Crash, also known as the Double Six Tragedy, was a crash, involving a GAF N-22B Nomad of Sabah Air, which took place on 6 June 1976 at Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, killing several local political leaders.
George Mojuntin, the eldest son of the Mojuntin family, was one of the eyewitnesses of the aircraft crash. He and his friends were playing golf when the aircraft crashed into the Sembulan Sea while it was trying to land at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport.
The aircraft was 600 feet above, flying at 86 knots, approaching the runway from the north, seemed to stalled mid-air with one wing dipped down and suddenly spiraled (exactly one and a half turns) towards the shallow sea which was three feet deep and crashed. It was 3:41 pm and 27 seconds.
Eyewitnesses at Kampung Sembulan Baru reported that they heard an explosion at about 3:30 pm. When they rushed out from their homes, they saw an aircraft broken into two with cockpit embedded in the sandbank about three feet deep. Parts of the aircraft was embedded in the sea while part of it was exposed above the water.
According to Far Eastern Economic Review published on 18 June 1976, the aircraft flown over the Kampung Sembulan Baru at 200 to 300 feet as it approaches the north eastern end of the runway. The aircraft was veering from side to side before it went into a spiral and crashed.
The aircraft was in a total wreck. Blood was coming out from the wrecked aircraft and dyed the surrounding waters into crimson colour. The crash scene is located less than 50 feet from the nearest village Kampung Sembulan Baru and 3 km from the airport.
Tun Fuad brother Ben Stephens and Police Commissioner Yusof Khan were among the first who arrived at the scene. The Police Commissioner cut open the aircraft. Among the first items floated out from the crash scene was Tun Fuad white shoes.
Ben Stephens and the Police Commissioner managed to pull out the body of Tun Fuad’s bodyguard named Corporal Said who was seated at the back of the aircraft.
Police Commissioner Yusof Khan recalled:
There were bodies all over the floor of the plane…,they were mangled in different ways. Tun Fuad was sprawled (falls with one’s arm and legs spread out in an awkward way) grotesquely (unnatural shape), his limbs at an odd angle to his body. I recognised him by his size. Peter Mojuntin had his face untouched but there was only a bloody hole at the back of his head. The smell of blood was terrible and my chaps were at the point of fainting, but we managed to get the bodies out of the plane and lined up near to it so that we could make a quick identification. There were no survivors. I was horrifed to see that almost every Berjaya senior leader was there. Only Harris was missing.
All the bodies were converged at the cockpit except for one who was still in strapped into position by his safety belt. The cockpit was buried into the ground. Captain Nathan was found at the pilot seat while Johari Stephens (Tun Fuad’s son) was found at the co-pilot seat. All the bodies were mutilated beyond recognition except for Peter Mojuntin face who still remained intact. One head was found to be severed and located at a distance from the body. One eye witness described the condition as “their bodies turned jelly with practically every bone in their bodies broken or smashed”.
Firemen were the first to arrive at the scene. Policemen then came to seal off the area. Axes were used to cut open the aircraft and 11 bodies were removed. 2 revolvers, 5 watches, and RM 6,000 cash were recovered. All the bodies were rushed to Queen Elizabeth Hospital for stitching. Doctors worked for more than 6 hours to stitch up the body parts. Ben Stephens and Tengku Razaleigh then arrived at the mortuary for formal identification of the bodies.
The crash killed all 11 on board the flight, including five ministers:
- Tun Fuad Stephens, Chief Minister of Sabah
- Datuk Peter Mojuntin, Sabah Minister of Local Government and Housing
- Datuk Salleh Sulong, Sabah Finance Minister
- Chong Thien Vun, Sabah Works and Communication Minister
- Datuk Darius Binion, Assistant Minister to Deputy Chief Minister
- Datuk Wahid Peter Andu, secretary to Sabah Finance Minister
- Dr Syed Hussin Wafa, Director of State Economic Planning Unit
- Datuk Ishak Atan, Private Secretary to Malaysian Federal Finance Minister Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah
- Johari Stephens (Tun Fuad’s eldest son)
- Captain Ghandi Nathan (the pilot)
- Corporal Said Mohammad (bodyguard to Tun Fuad Stephens)
The footage below was taken just after the crash.
May all their souls rest in peace.