REMEMBERING A TRAGEDY

Families gather at Barajas to mourn Spanair crash victims

Search for answers continues four years after disaster

Families of the 154 people killed in the Spanair disaster at Monday’s act of remembrance.
Families of the 154 people killed in the Spanair disaster at Monday’s act of remembrance.CRISTÓBAL MANUEL / EL PAÍS

Families of those that lost their lives in the 2008 Spanair crash at Madrid’s Barajas airport gathered at Terminal 2 on Monday, where an olive tree and a plaque bearing the names of the dead stand in remembrance.

The catastrophe took place on August 20 four years ago, when flight JK 5022 crashed on take-off after a catalogue of errors on the part of pilots and ground crew. Of passengers and crew, 154 people died. There were just 18 survivors

Although two people have been charged over the disaster, the judicial investigation has been shelved despite many questions remaining unanswered.

“We are convinced that it was not an accident but a catastrophe that could have been prevented if the normal regulations and procedures had been followed,” said president of the Association of Victims of Flight JK 5022, Pilar Vera.

At the ceremony, Public Works Minister Ana Pastor vowed to work to increase security in Spanish civil aviation and also promised to reform the make-up of the controversial CIAIAC accident investigation panel, whose report on the disaster was met with widespread indignation by victims’ families.