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Death Toll in Spanish Plane Crash Reaches 153

  • VOA News

Spanish officials say the death toll from Wednesday's plane crash at Madrid's Barajas airport has risen to 153 people.

Development Minister Magdalena Alvarez told reporters that only 19 people survived the accident involving a Spanair plane bound for the Canary Islands, and that most of those were injured.

The plane was carrying 172 people -- including the crew -- when it veered off the runway during takeoff, crashed and burst into flames.

Spain's Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero cut short his vacation to rush to the scene of the accident.

Journalists at Barajas airport say the thick column of smoke rising from the wreckage made it initially difficult to investigate.

The airplane involved in the Madrid crash was an MD-82 --part of the McDonnell Douglas MD-80 series that has been around since the 1980s.

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