Airbus military plane crashes in Spain; 4 killed

Published May 10, 2015
Seville: Emergency services personnel work in the area after a plane crash on Saturday.—AP
Seville: Emergency services personnel work in the area after a plane crash on Saturday.—AP

SEVILLE: An Airbus A400M military transport plane crashed in a field in Seville on Saturday, killing four of the six on board, a government official said, in the first accident involving Europe’s newest troop and heavy cargo carrier.

The plane was on a test flight when it crashed 1.6 km north of Seville’s San Pablo airport, emergency services said. Six people were on board; four died on impact and two others were seriously injured, a government spokeswoman said.

The plane crashed into an electricity pylon while attempting an emergency landing and caused a power cut in a nearby neighbourhood, El Mundo newspaper said, citing an eyewitness.

An Airbus spokesman and a government spokeswoman declined to comment on the cause of the crash, a fresh blow to Europe’s largest defence project which had to be bailed out by European governments in 2010 after delays and cost overruns.

Airbus said the transport plane, which is assembled in Seville, had been ordered by Turkey, and that the company had sent a team to the crash site.

Media images showed a plume of black smoke rising from the crash site and fire-fighters spraying the smouldering wreckage. Hardly anything was left of the plane, which left black scorched earth in its wake.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy earlier told reporters while on the campaign trail for local elections that it seemed all those on board were Spanish Airbus employees. He cancelled his political rallies for the day.

Published in Dawn, May 10th, 2015

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