Spanair: Crashed MD-82 delayed by temperature gauge repair

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Spanair says an outside temperature indicator was the focus of the technical problem which initially delayed the departure of the Boeing MD-82 involved in yesterday's accident at Madrid.

The aircraft, bound for Las Palmas, had been scheduled to depart at 13:00 but returned to the gate after the crew reported a technical fault.

A spokeswoman for Spanair says that the captain reported a "damaged exterior temperature indicator" which was subsequently "repaired according to normal procedures".

Spanair does not believe the aircraft was in an abnormal condition during the subsequent fatal attempt at departure at around 14:45.

All but 19 of the 172 passengers and crew on board the aircraft were killed after it left the runway during take-off, broke up and was consumed by fire.