A TAM jet carrying 176 passengers and crew crashed Tuesday night as it tried to land at Sao Paulo’s Congonhas airport, killing potentially up to 200 people.The Airbus A320 was on a domestic flight from Porto Alegre when it skidded on a slick runway, crossing a busy road and ploughing into a petrol station. It then burst into flames.
About 20 people on the ground are also considered dead. The accident, considered the worst accident of the country’s civil aviation history, happened at 1850 local time.
The plane crashed head-on into a four-story building that is owned by TAM, Brazil’s largest airline, and is used for cargo shipments. This building was busy by late night airport workers.
The Brazilian president has called three days of mourning in respect fo rthose who died in the crash.
Sao Paulo’s Congonhas airport is one of the busiest airport in Latin America. There have been a number of recent concerns about the runway and its length, as well as other safety concerns.