Spanish air force takes over Airbus A400M crash probe

AFP , Thursday 14 May 2015

Spain's air force has taken over the investigation of the crash of an Airbus A400M military cargo plane near Seville which killed four men, a defence ministry spokesman said Thursday.

The Spanish government intially charged a civilian team made up of experts from the transport and defence ministries to probe the crash, the first of an A400M airlifter.

The civilian team "took the decision to withdraw because they understood that the plane has specific characteristics due to its military configuration which they were unfamiliar with," he said.

Spain's military air crash investigation agency, CITAAM, took charge of the investigation at the beginning of the week, he added.

The A400M plane that crashed in a field and burst into flames just north of Seville's airport on Saturday was several minutes into a test flight before it was due to be delivered to Turkey in July.

Two of the six people on board the plane, a mechanic and an engineer, survived the crash and are in hospital in serious condition.

A funeral mass was held at Seville's cathedral on Tuesday for the four men who died in the crash.

Spain on Tuesday became the fifth country to ground its A400Ms pending the outcome of the crash investigation, following similar decisions by Britain, Germany, Turkey and Malaysia.

France, which has six of the planes in active operation, said it would only carry out the most pressing flights until more details emerge on why the plane went down.

German newsweekly Der Spiegel reported that the plane experienced multiple engine failure, citing comments by one of the crash survivors.

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