Clues Sought in Madrid Crash

Black boxes found; authorities rule out foul play in crash that killed 153
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 21, 2008 6:03 AM CDT
A part of the fuselage of the Spanair jet that crashed on take off at Madrid airport is lifted by a crane on Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2008.    (AP Photo/EFE)
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(Newser) – Investigators are searching through wreckage for clues to why a passenger jet bound for the Canary Islands crashed shortly after takeoff from Madrid yesterday killing 153 passengers, the BBC reports. Witnesses reported hearing an explosion before the crash but officials say foul play has been ruled out. The voice recorders and flight data have been found. There were 19 survivors, including two infants, many in critical condition.

The plane's first attempt to take off  had been scuttled by a faulty temperature gauge, which was thought to have been fixed. Many relatives of the victims are furious with airline Spanair and blame it for the crash; a spokesman for Spanair said the 15-year-old plane had passed a safety inspection in January. Spain has declared three days of national mourning and its Olympic flag will be flown at half-mast.