Spain Crash Toll May Be 150

Witnesses say jet carrying 173 burst into flames just after Madrid takeoff
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 20, 2008 11:53 AM CDT

(Newser) – The death toll in today’s crash of a Spanair jet in Madrid is about 150, the Telegraph reports, with witnesses saying one of the aircraft’s engines exploded just after it took off, bound for the Canary Islands. Though the government is only confirming 45 dead, the Guardian says only 25 of the 173 on board survived.

The Telegraph also notes that the MD82 jet reportedly scrubbed an earlier takeoff attempt and was seen leaving a maintenance hangar before passengers boarded. Airport data suggest that many of the passengers could have been Germans connecting from an earlier Lufthansa flight.