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French Commuter Plane Crashes Near Paris' Orly Airport; All 22 Aboard Die

March 05, 1988|From Times Wire Services

PARIS — A French commuter plane on Friday clipped power lines and plowed into a field during a snowstorm while it was waiting to land at Orly Airport, southeast of Paris, killing all 22 people aboard, aviation authorities said.

The Fokker 27 turboprop, flying from Nancy in southeastern France, exploded upon impact.

"There is no hope of finding any survivors," a police spokesman said. "The plane literally disintegrated. The cause of the crash is not clear, but it is true that the plane cut through high-tension wires as it came down."

The plane, owned by the aviation company TAT, was carrying 19 passengers, including a baby, and three crew members, officials said.

The director of the Nancy-Essey Airport, Jean-Claude Philippe, said the plane had been circling the Melun area, 25 miles southeast of Paris, waiting for orders to land at Orly. TAT spokesman Patrice Decourt said the plane was in the holding pattern for six to seven minutes, then "plunged very rapidly" to the ground.

"The plane . . . was perhaps in a situation of intense icing, but TAT's experience with this type of plane leads us to believe that circumstances that we are not yet aware of led to the accident," said a statement issued by TAT.

The last ground contact with the plane was at 7:32 a.m., according to the control tower at Orly.

A trainee flight attendant, Helene Guillou, said in Nancy that she missed the flight because she overslept.

"I was an intern hostess and this morning I didn't hear the alarm clock," Guillou said.

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