Tags: 747 | 'Hit | Object | ' | Crashed: | 'It | Was

747 'Hit Object,' Crashed: 'It Was Like a Bomb'

Wednesday, 01 November 2000 12:00 AM

Taiwanese officials said early today 77 people had died, 54 were hospitalized and 48 suffered minor injuries or were unhurt.

The pilot ''saw an object on the runway and he tried to take off to avoid the object and he hit the object,'' airline spokesman Rick Clement said.

Passengers on Flight SQ006 described hearing a loud noise as the plane gathered speed for takeoff. The passengers were then tossed on their sides as the jet broke apart. The 747-400 jet, the world's largest passenger plane, was engulfed in flames.

John Diaz, a passenger on the flight who lives in New Orleans, said in an interview with CNN that flames ''shot up right next to me'' as the plane tried to take off. He said there was ''heavy, heavy rain.''

The winds at the airport were blowing at 41 mph 18 minutes before the crash, according to the U.S. National Weather Service foreign weather report.

The crash occurred at 11:18 p.m. local time (10:18 a.m. ET).

Three area hospitals were treating the survivors. The main hospital is the Chang Kung Memorial Hospital in Taoyuan, about 15 minutes from the airport, which had treated 34 people.

Singapore Airlines is considered a service and safety leader in the airline industry. It had never had a fatal crash, according to insurance records.

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Taiwanese officials said early today 77 people had died, 54 were hospitalized and 48 suffered minor injuries or were unhurt. The pilot ''saw an object on the runway and he tried to take off to avoid the object and he hit the object,'' airline spokesman Rick Clement said....
747,'Hit,Object,',Crashed:,'It,Was,Like,Bomb'
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2000-00-01
Wednesday, 01 November 2000 12:00 AM
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