6,000 killed in crashes in 13 years

6,000 killed in crashes in 13 years

According to a 2007 report by US-based aerospace firm Boeing, a total of 5,147 people were killed in 346 accidents, involving 286 commercial and 70 cargo jets, between 1998 and 2007.

Of them 78 were fatal accidents, while 146 were hull loss accidents, in which the airplane was totally destroyed or damaged beyond economic repair, the “Statistical Summary of Commercial Jet Airplane Accidents, 1959-2008,” report said.

Since 2008, there have been about 40 such accidents, including Saturday morning’s Air India plane crash in Mangalore, according to various other sources which put the number of casualties in the last three years at around 1,000.

Ten days before the Saturday’s incident, an Afriqiyah Airways plane from Johannesburg crashed while it was trying to land in the Libyan capital of Tripoli, killing 103 people. Only a nine-year-old Dutch boy survived the crash. A month ago, Poland’s President Lech Kaczynski and 92 others were killed when their aircraft crashed near the western Russian city of Smolensk.

On June 1, 2009, 228 people on board an Air France Airbus A330 perished when the aircraft ran into thunderstorm and crashed into Atlantic ocean on the way to Paris from Rio de Janeiro. On June 30, 2009, 153 people were killed when an Yemenia Airbus 310 en route the Comoros Islands crashed into Indian Ocean. Fifteen days later, all 168 people on board an Iranian passenger plane were killed when the aircraft crashed near the city of Qazvin.

During takeoff

In August 2008, a Spanair plane crashed on takeoff at Barajas airport in Madrid, Spain. Of the 172 people on board, 154 are killed. Two other major air accidents of the year were Santa Barbara Airlines plane crash of February that killed 46 people and Itek Air flight crash in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, which claimed 71 lives.

In 2007, 119 people were killed when a TAM Airbus skidded off the end of the runway across a major roadway and struck a gas station and building, bursting into flames in Brazilian city of Sau Paulo.

The year 2006 witnessed three major crashes, killing more than 450 people. While 128 people were killed in a Sibir (S7) crash in Russia’s Irkutsk region in July, 170 were killed in August in a Pulkovo Airlines aircraft crash in Ukraine’s Donetsk. Some 154 people were killed in a Gol Airlines plane crash in Brazil next month.

In August 2005, a West Caribbean Airways flight crashed in the Sierra de Perija mountains on the Columbian-Venezuelan border, killing all 160 onboard. Similarly, 143 people were killed when a Boeing 737-230 from Mandala Airlines veered to the left and crashed into a residential neighbourhood 500 yards past the end of the runway in Medan, Indonesia.

In another such air mishap, 104 people were killed when a Kam Air flight crashed into 11,000 ft Chaperi Mountain near Kabul in February 2005. In February 2003, 275 people were killed when an Iranian Revolutionary Guard military plane crashed into a mountain and a Sudan Airways plane crashed near Port Sudan, killing 116.

Four major crashes

Over hundred people lost their lives the March when an Air Algerie plane failed while attempting to take off and crashed at an airport in Algeria. The year 2002 witnessed four major plane crashes, two of which involved Chinese airlines. The deadliest among them was the Boeing 747 of China Airlines that broke apart midair and crashed into Taiwan Straits on May 25, 2002, killing all 225 on board.

Before that,  another Air China flight had crashed into a mountain, in fog, wind and rain while attempting to land at Kimhae Airport in Busan, South Korea. Of the 166 passengers and crew, 128 were killed in the disaster.

Other plane crashed of that year included the January 28 crash of a TAME airliner near Ipiales, Colombia, EAS Airlines plane crash in Kano, Nigeria, and the midair collision of Bashkirian Airlines and DHL cargo planes in Uberlingen, Germany.

The number of fatalities in these accidents was 92, 77 and 71 respectively. In November 2001, an American Airlines Airbus A300 crashed after takeoff from JFK Airport into the New York City borough of Queens, killing over 265, including people on the ground.

Another American Airlines aircraft crashed near Arlington, Virginia in July that year, killing 189 people, while 145 lost their lives when a Vladivostokavia airliner reduced to flames in Siberian woodlands the same month. There were a number of other accidents involving small planes and lesser casualties in the last 10 years.