21 Aug 2008

Plane crash at Madrid airport

5:13 am on 21 August 2008

A Spanish passenger jet carrying 173 people has swerved off a Madrid airport runway, bursting into flames and killing at least 100 people.

The Spanair MD-82 aircraft was taking-off from Madrid-Barajas airport heading for the Canary Islands at 14:23 hours local time on Wednesday.

The newspaper El Mundo reports on its website that plane's left engine had caught fire.

Regional authorities have issued a provisional toll saying there were at least 100 dead.

Emergency services says only about 25 people have survived.

The flight was a code-sharing operation with Lufthansa serving the Canary Islands.

Spanair is a subsidiary of Scandinavian Airlines Systems. In a statement, SAS said there were 166 passengers and six crew onboard.

The MD-82 is made by Boeing Co.