Plane Crashes in Warsaw, Killing 2

<i> Associated Press</i>

A Lufthansa jetliner carrying 70 people skidded off a runway Tuesday, caught fire and broke in two after landing in a rainstorm at Warsaw’s international airport. The airline listed two people killed and 45 hurt.

Lufthansa spokesman Markus Kopp said the co-pilot and a German passenger were killed and that the other pilot and two flight attendants were among those hurt. Germany’s ambassador to Poland, Franz Bertele, and his wife were slightly injured, airport officials said. Kopp said the remaining 23 people aboard escaped injury.

Lufthansa spokesman Hans-Willy Blum said the Airbus A320 landed normally at 5:30 p.m., but then failed to stop, jumped an embankment and came to a halt with the engines on fire. The accident occurred as a brief, heavy rain shower swept over the Polish capital.

Lufthansa Chief Capt. Robert Salzl told a news conference: “It is impossible to say how it could happen. It was a normal landing.”


Speculation focused on such possibilities as brake failure, hydroplaning on the rain-covered runway, pilot error or a sudden tail wind gust that pushed the plane so hard that even the two-mile strip was too short.