Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Death Toll Rises in Madrid Plane Crash

Two dozen survivors pulled from wreckage

An airliner departing Madrid's Barajas International airport caught fire Wednesday and reportedly crashed after a take-off attempt.

The Spanair flight carrying 172 passengers and crew was en route to Las Palmas, in the Canary Islands - a popular vacation destination.

Latest government numbers report 90 fatalities, but CNN+ is reporting nearly 150 deaths. "It is certain catastrophe," one emergency official said.

Madrid newspaper El Mundo stated the aircraft broke into two as it crashed off the runway. Another report stated the accident occurred after a second attempt at take-off.

Spanair is Spain's second largest commercial airliner.

(Photo from Sky News)