Madrid plane crash kills 153

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Madrid plane crash kills 153

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A total of 153 people are now known to have died in the plane crash at Madrid’s Barajas airport.

Spanair flight 5022, an MD-82 jet bound for Las Palmas in the Canary Islands, shot off the runway and exploded during take-off with 166 passengers and nine crew on board.

The authorities say 19 people survived after they were thrown from the aircraft by the force of the impact and landed in a stream, saving them from more severe burns.

The cause of the crash is yet to be determined and an investigation has been launched.

As the emergency services swung into action the chronology of events began to unfold.

The plane was due to leave at 1pm local time, but after taxiing to the runway it returned to its stand with a mechanical fault.

Witnesses then say they saw the plane’s left engine burst into flames as it attempted to take-off. Seconds later it exploded.

Spain has announced three days of mourning.

The crash is the worst aviation disaster in the country since 1983, when an Avianca Boeing 747 went down at the same airport killing 181.