Thursday, August 18, 2005

French experts join Venezuela plane crash probe

MACHIQUES, Venezuela (AP) — French specialists joined an investigation into the crash of an airliner that killed 160 people, while Colombia grounded the airline that offered the charter flight to vacationers from the French Caribbean island of Martinique.
The Colombian government said late Wednesday it had halted West Caribbean Airways' operations while its civil air authority reviewed inspections that the small carrier had been required to perform.
The Colombian airline's safety record is being scrutinized after the McDonnell Douglas MD-82 crashed in Venezuela Tuesday while bringing the passengers home to Martinique after a weeklong trip to Panama.
Venezuelan investigators were focusing on the possibility of contaminated fuel or some other fuel problem that led both engines to fail simultaneously, said Nelson Serrano, an emergency official in the western state of Zulia.


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