140 die as Airbus crashes in Gulf

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The Independent Online

More than 130 people, including a number of British air crew, were feared dead last night after a Gulf Air Airbus A320 crashed shortly before landing at Bahrain on a flight from Cairo. Initial reports suggested that one of the aircraft's engines had burst into flames.

More than 130 people, including a number of British air crew, were feared dead last night after a Gulf Air Airbus A320 crashed shortly before landing at Bahrain on a flight from Cairo. Initial reports suggested that one of the aircraft's engines had burst into flames.

Flights between the oil-rich emirate and the Egyptian capital are particularly busy at this time of year. Flight GF072 would have been filled with Egyptian migrant workers returning to their jobs and Bahrainis coming home from holiday.

In the Bahraini capital, Manama, scores of ambulances were seen heading toward the airport. Helicopters were also seen flying in the same direction.

Gulf Air is owned by Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, and Abu Dhabi, the largest of the seven sheikhdoms that make up the United Arab Emirates. Based in Bahrain, it flies to 53 international destinations.

The Airbus A320 is designed to carry 129 passengers, and between seven and nine crew were thought to have been on board the Gulf Air flight. Designed and built by the European Airbus Industrie consortium, it is regarded as one of the world's safest aircraft.

Egypt is still coming to terms with the legacy of the crash of an Egyptair Boeing 767 which plunged into the sea off Long Island on take-off from New York's John F Kennedy airport last year, killing all 217 passengers and crew.

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