INTRODUCTION: The co-pilot of the Pan-American Airlines jumbo jet that was involved in last Sunday's (27 March) collision with a Dutch jumbo jet in the Canary Islands, in which more than 570 people died in the world's worst aviation disaster, has been talking publicly about the tragedy.
CUS Pan-American Airlines pilot Robert Bragg, survivor of Tenerife disaster, talking to the reporter in New York, USA, and using models on table to display collision. (4 shots)
GV aircraft hanger, Tenerife airport, Canary Islands.
GVs INTERIOR massed coffins inside hanger (2 shots)
SVS workmen preparing coffins for flight out, and wrapped body on table. (2 shots)
SV workman identifying coffins with labels.
SV wrapped body on table.
GV workmen opening coffin
SVS Pan-American air hostess survivors walking among coffins (2 shots).
SV INTERIOR Pan-American rescue hero Jack Ridout and survivor Joan Holt walking into news conference, San Diego, California, USA. (MUTE)
SVS Ridout talking to newsman (4 shots)
SEQ. 1: BRAGG: "We had already been told by the tower that the weather at the field was 500 metres and that the centre-line lights were out, which meant that we could not take off, not unless the Captain had said. The field was below take-off normals, and it was our intention to go down to the end of the runway and wait until the weather did improve.
"We were sitting straight ahead when we first saw the landing lights on the KLM flight. And the first time we saw him, we thought he was still standing still, waiting for us to clear the runway. And the next second we saw the lights moving, and the Captain said 'I think he is moving' and about the same time we saw the aeroplane, and the Captain went to full take-off power on the throttles, and made an immediate left-turn to try to get us off the runway. And at that time, after we had made about a thirty-degree turn, I saw KLM start his rotation to bring the nose up, and at that time, it was an instant later, that he hit us.
'At this airport, like all international airports, the English language is the language used by all controllers and pilots, and the man was understandable.'
SEQ. 10: SURVIVOR JACK RIDOUT: 'She was out right away. I got her out... I would say... within thirty seconds... at least. I mean, that's the pretty realistic thing. The next girl I got out was Terry....'
SURVIVOR JOAN HOLT: 'Terry Brewsfeld (note -- phoenetic spelling).'
RIDOUT: '.... she was sitting in front. I was slinging people at the rate of may be one every thirty seconds. I had say I was in there maybe five minutes when the stewardess died. We blew up the ramp, and the third explosion came, and she disappeared, and I said 'I cannot do any more'.'
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: The co-pilot of the Pan-American Airlines jumbo jet that was involved in last Sunday's (27 March) collision with a Dutch jumbo jet in the Canary Islands, in which more than 570 people died in the world's worst aviation disaster, has been talking publicly about the tragedy. Robert Bragg, back home in the in the United States after surviving the crash without injury, told a reporter about the last moments before the impact.
SYNOPSIS: In the Canary Islands, workers at Tenerife airport have been preparing hundreds of coffins for shipment back home. The coffins of the Dutch dead are being sent by sea to Las Palmas, also in the Canaries, to be flown home from there in special flights. Arrangements for the coffins with bodies from the Pan-American flight have been hampered because many of them are still unidentified - and U.S. Government regulations do not permit the entry of unknown corpses.
A KLM investigator working on the disaster has said it appeared the Dutch pilot was trying to take off without permission - although, he added, his own findings revealed that the Pan-American Boeing should not have been on the runway. Pan-American officials have denied the allegation.
Back in America, a hero of the disaster was accompanied to a news conference by one of the people he rescued.