Three killed in Norway air crash
10/10/2006 - 11:34:50
Three people were killed and 13 survived when a charter plane caught fire and skidded off the runway when landing at a western Norway airport today.
Jan Olav Olsen, of the district police, said three people reported missing were found dead in the wreckage. Rescue officials said the other 13 people aboard had been rescued without serious injury.
The British Aerospce Bae 146-200 jet with a capacity of 83 passengers and six crew was operated by Atlantic Airways of the Faeroe Islands. It had taken off from the south-western Norway Sola Airport, near Stavanger, and caught fire upon landing at the Stord Airport, farther north, said Anders Bang-Andersen, of the Norwegian Rescue Centre.
It skidded and burst into flames on landing at about 7.30am (6.30am Irish time), but the cause of the accident had not been determined. The national crash investigation board was sending a six-member team to the accident site.
Olsen said police had no immediate information on the identities of the three victims, or whether they were passengers or crew.
Fritz Arne Lilleskog, also of the district police, said the fire was brought under control after about an hour, but that the heat from the wreckage had slowed efforts to search the plane.
"We don't know what happened. It was during descent and landing, but that is all we know," he said. Lilleskog said the aircraft was severely damaged, but that he had no reports of serious injuries to the 13 people rescued.
Photographs posted on the internet sites of Norwegian newspapers showed a ball of fire and clouds of smoke coming from end of the runway.
The plane was chartered by shipbuilding and construction firm Aker Stord, a subsidiary of engineering group Aker Kvaerner, the company said.
It was heading to Molde, further up the Norwegian coast, but was making a stopover on Stord, an island about 75 miles north of Stavanger, Aker Kvaerner said.
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