Officials Demand Sao Paulo Airport Shutdown

Authorities blame airplane crash on poor runway conditions
By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Jul 19, 2007 5:39 PM CDT

(Newser) – In the wake of Tuesday's catastrophic plane crash, Brazilian officials are calling for the closure of Sao Paulo's Congonhas airport pending a review of safety conditions, the BBC reports. The Tam Airlines Airbus 320 landing in heavy rain skidded off a wet runway that was resurfaced last month and had not yet had drainage grooves inscribed on the new concrete.

Brazil's president has ordered an investigation into whether the runway reopened too early, and the air force reportedly believes the plane was traveling too fast. Investigators are still determining the cause of the crash, the worst aviation disaster in the country's history. They've recovered 180 bodies; up to 20 more remain in the wreckage.