World / Europe

Military plane crashes in Spain, killing 4 crew members

(Agencies) Updated: 2015-05-10 06:33

Military plane crashes in Spain, killing 4 crew members

Part of an Airbus A400M is pictured after it crashed in a field near the Andalusian capital of Seville, Spain, May 9, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

MADRID - A military transport plane crashed near Seville airport in southwestern Spain on Saturday, killing four crew members and injuring two seriously, officials said.

The crash of the Airbus A400M, that was undergoing flight trials at the airport, raised questions about the security of the new, propeller-driven transport aircraft.

Airbus said in a statement that four of the total six crew members died in the accident. The two others are currently in hospital in a serious condition, it said.

The pilots had communicated just before the impact that a fault was affecting the flight, Spain's air traffic controllers said on Twitter.

Britain and Germany immediately said they would suspend the use of their A400M aircraft until the cause of the crash has been determined.

Britain's Ministry of Defense said the use of its two A400M's had been "temporarily paused" as a precaution, while the German military said it would ground the one A400M it has received so far, according to news agency dpa.

Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy offered his condolences to the families of the all-Spanish crew and said the crash was a blow to an industry that was important to Spain - and to Europe.

"I hope there will be maximum transparency when explanations are made as to what happened here. That's what I'm going to ask of Airbus," Rajoy said.

Seville is the final assembly point for the A400M - a 20-billion-euro program that saw its first deliveries in 2013. Some 194 aircraft have been ordered by eight countries - including Spain - to replace their aging Hercules fleets.

Airbus said the plane that crashed was scheduled to be delivered to Turkey in June as the country's third such aircraft.

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