At least 153 people have been killed and 19 injured when a Spanair jet carrying 173 people crashed at Madrid airport. The jet broke up in flames when it attempted an emergency landing after take-off.
At least 153 people were killed and 19 injured when a Spanish airliner skidded off Madrid Barajas airport’s runway, according to regional authorities.
The Spanair jet was heading for
“The plane took off from the all new terminal 4 reported Adeline Percept,
The Red Cross is working to identify the bodies, and has set up support groups in Madrid and at Las Palmas. "We’re working with the families who want to know what happened in that plane,
“The injured have been transferred to the main hospitals in
Our correspondent said the number people killed is still unclear. A fireman on the site told Spanish daily El Mundo that the plane was full of burnt bodies including those of the flight crew.
TV images showed columns of smoke billowing from the wreckage on the tarmac as helicopters dropped water to douse the jet’s flames and grassfires caused by the crash.
"They are pulling out burnt corpses. The plane has been completely destroyed," a source from the emergency services told Reuters.
Firemen and emergency services battled flames for almost two hours before extinguishing the fire. “It’s a miracle to survive such an accident,” a crash survivor told El Mundo.
Rescue workers couldn’t access the plane’s interior immediately due to high temperatures inside the cabin, the Spanish daily reported on its website.
Airport authorities set up a special helpline for the victims’ relatives (00 34 800 400 200) and a special psychological counselling cell was set for grieving families at the airport.
Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero cut short his vacation and was heading back to
The crash could prove to be more deadly than the one in
Spanair is a subsidiary of Scandinavian carrier SAS and is
“Spanair is doing everything possible to assist the Spanish authorities at this difficult time. Spanair will provide further information as soon as it becomes available," the airline said in a statement.
The airline company gave no further information regarding casualties.
Date created : 2008-08-20