INTRODUCTION: The search for bodies began on Monday (28 March) after more than 550 people died in the world's worst aircraft crash in Santa Cruz De Tenerife, in the Canary Islands the previous day.
NIGHT SCENES GV PAN ACROSS Debris of crashed planes with bodies in wreckage in Tenerife, Canary Islands. (3 shots)
SV Burst bodies amongst debris. (4 shots)
SV Tail section of wrecked plane.
DAY SHOTS AERIAL VIEW Showing expanse of wreckage with plane still burning.
GV Firemen trying to extinguish fires. (4 shots)
GV PAN Smouldering wreckage. (2 shots)
GV Police carrying body from site.
The official investigation into the crash continues. It is being held in secret, but its findings are to be made public as soon as possible. The crash was only the third fatal Boeing 747 accident since it went into airline service in 1970. More than 300 of the wide-bodied planes have been ordered throughout the world and it has generally been praised for its safety record.
Initials VS 23.00
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Background: INTRODUCTION: The search for bodies began on Monday (28 March) after more than 550 people died in the world's worst aircraft crash in Santa Cruz De Tenerife, in the Canary Islands the previous day. Two jumbo, jets belonging to the American Pan Am and the Dutch KLM airlines, collided and exploded on the airport runway.
SYNOPSIS: Spanish military authorities have thrown a mantle of secrecy over investigations into the cause of the crash. But the President of the International Air Transport Association, Spain's Manuel De Prado, said the two aircraft were facing each other on the take off runway before the crash. He said the KLM plane was gathering speed before take off and the Pan Am jumbo was manoeuvring to take its place behind the Dutch airliner.
The latest provisional figures show that only 80 people survived the inferno that followed the crash. The two planes were carrying a total of 643 people. They were on their way to Las Palmas, but were diverted to Tenerife because of a bomb blast. After they crashed, flaming wreckage was strewn on the runway over a radius of 400 metres (yards) and a thick column of smoke rose from the airport.
Conditions at the airport were cloudy at the time of the crash and it was some minutes before it was realised that two planes were involved.
On Monday police and firemen sifted through the wreckage searching for bodies. The only people who emerged practically unscathed were 15 people travelling in the first class compartment and the fight deck of the Pan American plane. Police said that 95 per cent of the bodies recovered were unrecognisable.
Spain's air traffic controllers have been working to rule for the past eight months in a campaign for better equipment ad improved working conditions. Newsmen were told the Tenerife airport had no ground radar and that meant the control tower had to rely on visibility to follow planes.