Four confirmed dead in Spanish military plane crash
Published 09/05/2015 | 13:15
Spanish authorities have confirmed a fourth death when a military test flight crashed near the Seville airport in Spain.
During a test flight of its latest Airbus A400M military transport plane, the government said four of the six on board were killed after the plane crashed while attempting an emergency landing.
The remaining crew members were seriously injured.
The cause of the crash is still unknown but Spanish newspaper El Mundo is reporting that the plane struck an electricity pylon while trying to landing - knocking out power in the suburb of Carmona, which is near to where the plane came down.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy earlier told reporters while on the campaign trail for local elections that it seemed all those on board were Spanish Airbus employees.
He has since cancelled his political rallies for the day.
The Spanish government has sent a team to investigate the crash, a government source said.
Web tracking data indicated that the aircraft had wheeled round to the left before crashing north of the airport.
A source said the aircraft had been conducting its maiden flight as part of a pre-delivery schedule.
The plane had not yet been delivered to the Spanish military and was under trial, El Pais said.
The first accident involving Europe's newest troop and heavy cargo carrier, the plane was on a test flight when it crashed one mile north of Seville's San Pablo airport, emergency services said.
Spain's airport authority AENA said Seville airport had been closed because its fire crews had gone to attend the crash, outside its perimeter fence.
All flights to Seville were being diverted to Malaga and Jerez airports, AENA added.
Spanish state television TVE broadcast footage shot from a car driving past airport buildings showing a plume of black smoke rising into the sky. TVE said the pilots had communicated with the control tower, saying their plane was in difficulty.
The A400M is a large, propeller-driven transport aircraft that is being assembled in Seville.
Some 194 examples have been ordered by eight countries, including Spain, seeking a replacement to its ageing Hercules fleet.
Britain later confirmed it has temporarily stopped using a new military transport plane after one crashed near Seville airport in south-west Spain today, killing its crew.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has two Airbus A400M aircraft, and their operations have been "paused".