NTSB Sending Team to Madrid to Aid in Spanair Investigation

The National Transportation Safety Board will send a team of investigators to Madrid, Spain, to aid in the investigation of today's crash of a Spanair MD-82 as it was taking off for a flight to the Canary Islands. The aircraft broke apart and caught fire. NTSB Acting Chairman Mark V. Rosenker designated senior air safety investigator John Lovell as the U.S. Accredited Representative. Four NTSB technical specialists will accompany him, and the U.S. team will include technical advisors from the FAA, Boeing, and Pratt & Whitney, NTSB said.

The BBC's ongoing coverage said the death toll has exceeded 150, and it reports that witnesses at the scene said the left engine of the aircraft may have been on fire as it took off. Visit this BBC site for its coverage.

Spanair has updated its statement and posted a passenger list. A total of 172 people were aboard the plane: 162 passengers, four passive crew members, and six members of the flight crew. "Spanair wishes to express their condolences to the families of the victims of this terrible accident. The company is doing everything possible to help the families and assist their immediate needs," the statement says.

Boeing's statement said the aircraft manufacturer "extends its deep condolences to the families and friends of those lost in the crash of Spanair 5022 in Madrid, and our hope for the speedy recovery of the injured. We stand ready to provide technical assistance to the Spanish Comisión de Investigación de Accidentes e Incidentes de Aviación Civil (CIAIAC) as it investigates the accident."

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