Brazilian Jetliner Crashes Near Paris, Killing 124 Tuesday, Nov 17 2009 

Transcribed from St. Petersburg Times, St. Petersburg, FL, July 12, 1973, p. 1:

Brazilian Jetliner Crashes Near Paris, Killing 124

Witness helped survivors, 17-A


PARIS (AP) — A Brazillian jetliner crashed in flames six miles short of Orly Airport Thursday, killing 124 of the 131 persons aboard, authorities said.

Authorities said all of the 119 passengers and five of the 12 crewmembers were killed and that all of the bodies were found in the burned-out remains of the aircraft.

THE PLANE, a Varig Airlines Boeing 707, radioed an SOS fire report to the control tower seconds before it plowed into an onion patch in suburban Sauix-les-Chartreux.

The seven surviving crewmembers included the pilot, Capt. Gilberto da Silva, and a hostess, Andrea Piha. Three of the survivors were reported in critical condition.

The plane flew from Sao Paulo, Brazil, with stops in Rio de Janeiro and Lisbon, Portugal. Officials said most of the dead were victims of the fire, rather than the crash.

THE DEAD INCLUDED Filinto Muller, president of Brazil’s Arena party, which represents the nation’s ruling military. He was also president of the Brazilian Senate.

Authorities said apparently none of the dead was American.

The plane was just six miles short of its destination at Orly after the 6,000-mile flight from Brazil.

“A MINUTE and a half more and the Boeing could have landed in safety, perhaps saving all the passengers,” said Jean-Francois Frerot, the control tower chief at Orly.

The wingtips and four engines were ripped off when the plane crashed. Flames spilling from the aircraft prevented farmhands from getting near the wreckage to rescue those inside.

The pilot’s call to the Orly control tower, announcing “fire on board,” came after Flight 820 reported engine trouble, airport spokesmen said. An alert was sounded, but was almost immediately supplanted by a full-scale crash warning when the pilot radioed moments later that his plane was aflame.

THE AIRPORT said the pilot asked for permission to crash-land and was told to make a wrong-way landing on a take-off strip.

The runway was cleared, but the jetliner never reached Orly. The French national police said it crashed on its belly slightly less than 15 minutes after the first report of trouble.


Dawn Search After Peru’s Air Disaster Tuesday, Nov 17 2009 

Transcribed from The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, Australia, November 29, 1962, p. 3:

Dawn Search After Peru’s Air Disaster


LIMA, PERU, Nov. 28 (A.A.P.-Reuter).–Rescue workers at dawn today resumed the task of identifying the bodies of 97 people killed yesterday in the crash of a Brazillian Boeing-707 airliner, near Lima.

There were no survivors when the Boeing hit a 2,000 ft hill at Atocongo, 12 miles south of Lima, and burst into flames.

Doctors, nurses and police who climbed the steep, rock-bound hillside to the disaster scene found most victims burnt or mutilated beyond recognition.

Bodies and debris were scattered over a smoke-blackened area about 200 yards square.

The huge tail section was on the edge of a peak overlooking desert wastes.

A baby’s shoe lay nearby. Not for [sic] away was a broken gramophone record of a Brazilian samba.

The airliner, with 80 passengers and a crew of 17, was flying from Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, bound for Lima, Peru, Bogota, Colombia, Panama City and Mexico City to Los Angeles, California. Ten bodies were brought into Lima before nightfall last night, including that of the Peruvian Minister of Agriculture, General J. Melgar, who was identified by a bracelet.

Other victims included 18 Americans and all 10 members of a Cuban delegation to a regional meeting of the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organisation at Rio de Janeiro. Among them was the president of the Cuban National Bank, Mr. R. C. Bonnila.

The Boeing’s owners, Varig Airlines, said the crew were Brazilians except for a German steward and a French stewardess.

According to news agency reports, 82 people on four continents were killed in air crashes earlier this week.

Associated Press says five Boeings had crashed with the loss of 416 lives before yesterday’s disaster.

The worst single commercial plane disaster in history was on June 3 last year when an Air France 707 crashed at orly airport near Paris, killing 130 persons, mostly American tourists. Two hostesses survived.