The World: Death in the Air: Fire and Fumes

The pilot's voice was calm, almost as if he were describing the sights of Paris to his 117 passengers. "I have mechanical trouble with my engines," he told the control tower at Orly Airport. The control tower at Orly alerted all rescue units and prepared for an emergency landing by the crippled craft. The alert was in vain. Only a minute and a half before its scheduled landing, the Brazilian Varig Airlines 707, which had flown from Sāo Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, crash-landed in an onion field 2½ miles from the airport.

The...

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