Plane crashes during landing at Sao Paulo airport; 200 fear dead
July 18: In the history of the worst air crashes, another chapter added on Tuesday as a Brazilian Jumbo jet carrying 170 passenger skidded off the runway in driving rain and crashed into a building before bursting into flames on the Congonhas Airport of Sao Paulo in Brazil at around 6:45 pm local time (2145 GMT). “It is feared that almost 200 people were died on the spot include some ground people”, as a fire service chief told local media.
Airbus A320 of Tam Airline, the largest airline of Brazil was carrying 170 passengers and six employees of the Airbus were also present on the board when plane crashed into the airline's own offices at the airport during landing. “It skidded off the runway, kept on running, crossed the road and crashed into a building, which is Tam Express office that handles packages and equipment. The plane disappeared inside the building except its tail end and big bang in the ground”, Said an eyewitness.
“Fire fighters battled the blaze for nearly two hours after the crash. Tam’s flight JJ3054 was arriving from Southern Brazilian city of Porto Alegre”, airport official said. “The inside temperature was over 1000 degree at the blast, so there is no chance to save any one. The people of the building from which the plane crashed and ground people near the plane were also died due to extremely high temperature and fire. The tanks of airbus fuel were also inside the Tam express building that causes the huge temperature and flaming.” added officer.
The dead bodies of several victims had been recovered and the search operation is still going on as a local television said while the airport official did not confirm the number of victims due to some ethical reason, “Because first we have to inform their families", said Ifraero, a spokes person for airport managing company.
Earlier reports had said the plane had crashed into a gas station outside the airport perimeter.
Congonhas airport is the second largest airport of Brazil. It is situated near the dense populated area in Sao Paulo of Brazil. But this airport is not suitable for Jumbo jets. It is also the second busiest airport of the country. A Brazilian court banned large jets to land at the busy airport in February because of safety concerns, but an appeals court overruled the ban, quoting it would hurt business and that the safety problems did not warrant halting air traffic. Now the airport has been closed till the undefined date.
Brazil President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva called the emergency meeting shortly of his cabinet in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil after the accident. He declared three days of national morning for the victims and their members, according to reports.
Earlier another plane slid off the runway at the same airport and came to rest to in a grassy area nearby on Monday, none died or injured in that accident.
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