In Spain, a large-scale tragedy was barely avoided – a collision of passenger planes that were on the same lane.
One of the airliners was approaching, the other was about to take off. The incident took place at the airport on the Spanish island of Tenerife (Canary Islands). The passenger plane of the Iberia Express airline, as reported by TASS with reference to the press release of the air carrier, was ready to take off. However, the flight had to be interrupted due to a sudden appearance of an aircraft approaching in the same runway. The company said in a statement:
“The plane was forced to abort takeoff when it was on the runway, by order of the control tower. During this maneuver, safety precautions were followed throughout the time and the instructions of the air traffic controllers were followed, who, in view of another aircraft landing, requested that the takeoff be canceled.”
According to available information, the plane returned for refueling and later flew to its destination. The second airliner flew in from Madrid and belongs to Air Europa.
The commander of the plane, who failed to take off, explained to the passengers that the flight was interrupted due to the landing aircraft. If takeoff continued, “two planes would collide in the air.”
A similar disaster occurred at the same airport in 1977 and remained in the history of civil aviation as the largest in terms of the number of victims. Then, too, two passenger planes were on the same lane and collided. As a result, 583 people died.