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World History

Sunday, March 27, 1977. :   583 are killed as two jumbo jets collide on a runway in Tenerife, the Canary Islands.

     The Canary Islands constitute an archipelago of seven islands in the Atlantic Ocean. They are located off the northwestern coast of Africa and form an autonomous community of Spain. On the evening of 27 March 1977, a Boeing 747 belonging to Dutch national airline KLM, and a Pan American 747 travelling from Los Angeles to the island of Las Palmas, collided on the runway at Los Rodeos airport, Tenerife.

Both aircraft, along with at least three others, had been diverted to Tenerife after a terrorist bomb threat closed the airport on nearby Las Palmas. Los Rodeos was a small regional airport, unable to cater for so many large aircraft, having just one runway and one major taxiway parallel to it, as well as several small taxiways connecting them. The diverted aircraft were parked on the long taxiway, meaning that it could not be used for taxiing. Instead, departing aircraft were required to taxi along the runway to position themselves for takeoff. Fog limited the visual range to 300m.

The collision occurred when the KLM jumbo preparing for take-off clipped the Pan-Am plane which was taxiing across the runway. The lower fuselage of the KLM plane hit the upper fuselage of the Pan Am plane, ripping apart the centre of the Pan Am jet above the wing. The KLM plane slammed into the ground belly-up 150 m past the point of collision and slid down the runway. 583 people were killed in the resultant explosion and fireball; no-one aboard the KLM jet survived. 335 of the 396 aboard the Pan Am flight survived, including the captain, who was later cleared of any blame. The crash was blamed on the KLM pilot who had not checked if he was clear for take-off.


Today in History

Thought For Today
But the Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control. There is no law against such things as these.
Galations 5:22-23 (c) GNB
What a wonderful world it would be, if we could all exhibit such "Fruits" as these. Certainly something for us to strive for!

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