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What caused light air craft disaster, northern Spain?

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 09.06.2011 10:32
A Warsaw district prosecutor has opened an investigation into the deaths of four Poles, amongst them leading architect Stefan Kurylowicz, who perished in an air disaster in northern Spain on Monday.

photo issued by Asturias fire brigade/EPA

Two light aircraft crashed in the vicinity of Asturias airport in heavy rain and fog. A third craft managed to land, having been directed onwards by controllers to the airport in Santander.

The group was flying from the northern Spanish city of San Sebastian to Portugal. Disaster struck two thirds of the way through the journey.

Initial reports suggested, Monday, that the two doomed aircraft had collided in mid-air. However, doubts have been cast on such a scenario.

Local daily El Comercio wrote that the pilots had ignored advice from Spanish controllers against landing at Asturias airport. The newspaper holds that visibility was zero at the time.

Prosecutor Dariusz Slepokura cites that legal proceedings relate to the article of Poland’s Criminal Code concerning responsibility for the crash.

“At this stage of the proceedings, it will be necessary to apply for information from the Foreign Ministry and other state institutions, so as to confirm the reports of the press,” he said.

It will then be decided whether to continue with a full-blown inquiry into the affair.

Maciej Kujawski from the Attorney General's office has underlined that an investigation must be carried out in cooperation with Spanish authorities.

A Spanish governmental commission has already interviewed air controllers at the airport in northern Spain. A court in the nearby city of Aviles is already proceeding with a classified investigation into the disaster, with the first results due to be revealed approximately a fortnight from now. (nh/pg)

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