Airbus Crash Kills 2 in Europe

An Airbus A320 passenger plane crashed off France’s southern coast during a maintenance flight Thursday, killing at least two of seven people on board.

From the Associated Press:

The airplane had undergone checks at the EAS Industries aircraft maintenance center in the French city of Perpignan, near the border with Spain. It was being leased by German charter airline XL Airways and was due to return to service for Air New Zealand next month, officials from those companies said.

The jet plunged into the Mediterranean as it was approaching the Perpignan airport, from which it had taken off on a circular flight an hour earlier, France’s civil aviation accident investigation bureau said.

French and German investigators, as well as civil aviation officials and Airbus experts, were heading to the crash site about 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) off the coast, it said.

Two bodies were recovered at sea, the local government said, without identifying the victims.

Five launches, two helicopters and a patrol airplane were searching choppy seas for the other five people who were on board, the regional center for Mediterranean rescue operations said.

“The fuselage has been located. The rescue operations will determine if there are any survivors,” said First Officer Sandrine Parro, with the center.

The airplane — owned by Air New Zealand — has been operated by XL Airways under a 2006 lease, the German charter company’s spokesman Asger Schubert said in Frankfurt. The maintenance checks were part of plans to hand the plane back to its owner.

The crew included two German pilots, Schubert said.

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One Comment on “Airbus Crash Kills 2 in Europe”

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