An Air New Zealand Airbus A320 plane on a test flight crashed off the southeastern coast of France, causing seven people on board to be killed.
|A Securite Civile rescue helicopter takes off for the site where a Air New Zealand airbus A320 plane crashed on November 27, 2008 offshore Canet-en-Roussillon in Perpignan, southern France. Rescuers found the body of one crew member but six others were still missing after this passenger jet plunged into the Mediterranean Sea, officials said.[AFP PHOTO] |
The Airbus crashed into the Mediterranean Sea near the town of Perpignan as it came into land at about 5:00 a.m. New Zealand local time Friday (1600 GMT Thursday), killing all seven on board, Radio New Zealand reported.
The plane had been chartered by the German charter airline XL since 2006.
It had been returned to the Airbus factory prior to being handed back to Air New Zealand and had been re-painted in Air New Zealand colors.
An XL spokesman said there were Air New Zealand and Airbus people on board.
A French Maritime official said that floating debris has been located. The official said the test flight took off from Perpignan in southern France.
|Rescuers work in a field headquarters after the crash.[AFP PHOTO]|
A spokesman for the Pyrenees-Orientales prefecture, in southwestern France, said the plane was on a "technical flight" and was being serviced by a company based in Perpignan, a southwestern city on the Mediterranean coast.
A surveillance plane, two rescue helicopters and five ships were at the scene 3.5 nautical miles (2.5 km) from shore.
(Xinhua News Agency November 28, 2008)