Brazil's Defense Minister Fired Over Air Disaster

More firings expected to fix nation's problem-plagued air traffic system
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 26, 2007 4:48 AM CDT
Firefighters work at the site where a TAM airlines jet crashed Tuesday killing at least 189 people in Sao Paulo, Thursday, July 19, 2007. A TAM jet pulled out of an attempted landing Thursday at Congonhas...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Brazil's defense minister was ousted yesterday for his failure to prevent the worst air disaster in the nation's history, which claimed 200 lives last week. Waldir Pires was already under fire after a mid-air collision last September killed 154 people.

More heads are expected to roll as leaders address Brazil's problem-plagued air traffic system, which is run by the military.  Air traffic controllers have staged slowdowns to protest outdated equipment; radar outage in the Amazon last weekend caused more than a dozen international flights to switch routes, triggering major delays.