"The team at Irwin Mitchell has a ‘pre-eminent reputation’ for travel personal injury work"

Legal 500 (2016)


A Spanair plane carrying 172 people crashed just after it took off from Madrid's Barajas airport, leaving 153 passengers dead.

The plane was bound for Las Palmas in the Canary Islands. Early reports suggest that a fire broke out in one of the plane's engines during or just after take-off.

Accident investigators will start to analyse the plane’s flight data and voice recorders, as well as scouring the wreckage, in an attempt to find out what caused the crash.

Magdalena Alvarez, Spanish Transport Minister, confirmed an earlier take-off attempt had been aborted because of a technical problem, leading to a one hour delay in the eventual take-off.

The plane was an MD82. Earlier this year a safety audit was conducted on the MD-80 series fleet. American Airlines grounded their entire stock of MD-80s as a result. This led to the cancellation of nearly 6000 flights as the hydraulic wiring in the planes was checked.

Delta Airlines also cancelled 275 flights after inspecting their fleet of MD-80s. Almost 400 people have died in the last 5 years as a result of accidents involving MD-80 series aircraft.

Clive Garner, an expert in Aviation law from Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, said, "Having acted for the victims of other crashes involving MD-80, it is terrible to see another crash of this kind. There were warning signs leading up to this incident that may suggest this tragic loss of life could have been avoided. The Spanish Civil Aviation Authorities must now launch a full investigation into the cause of this tragedy.

"Air travel remains statistically one of the safest forms of transport, but lessons must be learnt when an incident like this occurs. It is absolutely crucial that all airlines observe the strictest standards which are not compromised by putting financial concerns before the safety of passengers."

If you or someone you know has been involved in this or a similar incident, please contact us for free advice on 0800 056 0066 or using our online form.

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