Infraero, the airport authority, owns and operates Brazil’s commercial airports and has been overseeing Congonhas. Rainwater acumulating on the tarmac is a big issue for them, as it causes landing planes to skid. It’s such a big problem that the airport shut 18 times in the first quarter from flooded runways. Even before the accident, the short runway where the Tam Airbus skidded and crashed was scheduled to be retextured to handle water, but had been declared open for use in spite of not being properly surfaced to handle rain.
It was raining in Sao Paulo again yesterday.
Rescue workers have removed 173 badly charred bodies. The three story Tam Cargo center that was hit housed about 55 employees. Of those employees, three were killed, 11 were injured. and five are missing.
The word from officials investigating the crash is that the pilot attempted to take off when he realized the plane couldn’t stop.
An emergency meeting of congress was called to discuss the crash.
Dental records are being used to help identify the victims who are charred beyond recognition. All that remains of the airbus is the plane’s red tail fin.
It is common knowledge that the runways at Congonhas are too short.
A witness said, “We heard a loud skidding noise and saw the plane cross another lane very quickly, and then the plane disappeared. I felt the heat of the fire ball in my face. The fire was as big as a 25-story building.”
Witnesses feared the fire might trigger other explosions.
The plane’s black box is under investigation.
The company producing the Airbus is based in Toulouse, France, a subsidiary of European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co.
It has been revealed that that particular plane had logged about 20,000 flight hours in 9,300 flights, and was powered by International Aero Engines’ engines.
The leader of the opposition in the lower house of congress, Julio Redecker, was one of the passengers.
Ten months ago, a Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes SA passenger plane collided in mid-air with a business jet over the Amazon, killing 154 people.