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Outback tragedy: 60 children dead after Qantas forgets to collect youth choir

[Edition 21] ALICE SPRINGS, Tuesday: Another batch of intrepid young Australians has died in tragic circumstances after the entire Australian Youth Choir was left stranded in the bush. The filming went tragically wrong after the plane was unable to land and pick up the children due to safety fears. “Do you have any idea how unreliable Qantas planes are at the moment? It would have been to great a risk to try and land the plane anywhere without fire crews and safety nets,” claimed the pilot.


Scenes of joyful singing before the tragedy … The Youth Choir in the twilight of their life

[Edition 21] ALICE SPRINGS, Tuesday: Another batch of intrepid young Australians has died in tragic circumstances after the entire Australian Youth Choir was left stranded in the bush. The choir shot to national fame after it was selected by Qantas to record an choral version of “I Still Call Australia Home”. The choir featured in a series of rousing ads which combined the famous song by Peter Allen with images of the choir singing while dotted across various landmarks across the country and in the Antarctic.

The ads featuring the choir were so popular that Qantas commissioned another series of ads along the same theme. It was this plan which led to disaster. The choir was airlifted to central Australia earlier in the week and arranged into formation over a 10 kilometre square area. The film crew then took off to capture the signature aerial footage of the choir which made the Qantas ads so popular. But the filming went tragically wrong after the plane was unable to land and pick up the children due to safety fears. “Do you have any idea how unreliable Qantas planes are at the moment? It would have been to great a risk to try and land the plane anywhere without fire crews and safety nets,” claimed the pilot.

The crew informed local authorities when they landed safely in Alice Springs. But police did not send a search party out straight away. “It seemed unlikely that the kids were in any real danger” said local police commander Norman Philpot. “Skip certainly didn’t seemed too worried about it -he was very quiet so I though things must have been alright. Only last week that guy Edward Furtak came out after 6 months in the desert so I thought the kids would be alright for a week or two”.

When a search party was finally dispatched, word of the situation reached the media, causing a scramble from various networks to locate the lost children. Two days later, the choir was spotted, still in formation by a helicopter from Channel Nine’s A Current Affair. Anchor Mike Munro said that the children did not seem particularly haggard or dehydrated, with most choristers smiling and waving at the helicopter. “There was just nothing we could do,” he said, “so we decided to give them a bit more time to improve the vision”. Tragically, when they chopper returned some three days later, all they found were scores of young corpses symmetrically dotted across the landscape. Mike Munroe expressed his deepest regrets at the situation. “It was a tragedy alright – at least until we came up with the idea of calling the story Picnic at Singing Rock or Australian Youth Quiet.”