Transcribed from The Ruston Daily Leader, Ruston, Louisiana, 13 August 1973, p.1:

Jet Crashes in Spain

No Hope Given for Survivors

 

LA CORUNA, Spain (UPI) – A Caravelle airliner of the Spanish Aviaco Air Company exploded in flight today while the pilot was making his fourth landing approach to La Coruna’s cloud-shrouded mountaintop airport and fell in flames on a village below, an airline spokesman reported.

The airline said all 85 persons aboard the twin jet aircraft were believed dead and there were reports that as many as five inhabitants of the village of Montrove also were killed. Of the night itself, the airline said there is “no hope of survivors.”

Because of the confusion at the village crash site and the dense clouds and rains there were conflicting reports. Police in La Coruna said rescue operations were still underway and it was not definitely known yet whether there were survivors and whether any villagers had been killed.

A spokesman for La Coruna airport and Spanish news reports said at least one person survived the plane crash. The news agency Europa Press said five inhabitants of the village of Montrove also were killed.

Aviaco said the Caravelle jet carried 79 passengers and a crew of six.

An airport spokesman said it crashed on its fourth attempt to land in bad weather. Cifro reported the pilot had been told shortly before by the control tower that visibility had dropped below minimum levels.

The plane, on a scheduled flight from Madrid, made three attempts to land at La Coruna and had just started to circle the cloud-shrouded airport once again when it apparently exploded in the air, the spokesman said.

Most of its wreckage fell on an abandoned farm house in the village of Montrove, four miles from the airport.

The airport spokesman said radio contact with the plane broke off without any indication of anything being wrong with the plane, apart from Captain Lopez Pascual’s apparent difficulties of landing the craft under the prevailing bad conditions.

Cifra said the crash happened after visibility at the airport had dropped below minimum levels, and that Pascual was informed of the condition.

Most passengers aboard the plane appeared to be vacationers. La Coruna is one of three airports serving the northwestern Galicia Provinces and its seaside resorts. The illfated flight, AV-118, is a special vacation flight run daily by Aviaco during the summer season.

Cifra said one of the two injured persons found al the site of the disaster might have been a villager.

The plane left Madrid at 9:14 a.m., more than an hour late for the 6O-minute flight. The crash happened an hour later.

La Coruna airport was closed down to all incoming traffic after the crash.

Cifra said members of a Barcelona swimming club (Club Natacion Barcelona) were aboard the plane flying to a swimming meet in La Coruna.

The crash was Aviaco’s second this year. Another of its two engine Caravelles crashed into the sea near the Azores Islands on a training flight last spring, killing all three crew members abroad.

Two other Spanish airliners, a scheduled Iberia DC9 and a chartered Spantax Coronado, collided over France during an air controlers strike in spring killing 68. Last December, another Spanlax Coronado crashed on takeoff from Santa Cruz de Tenerife killing all 155 persons aboard in Spain’s worst air disaster.

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