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A400M crashes on take-off from Seville airport

UPDATE 14.40 UTC

Airbus Defence & Space has confirmed that the aircraft involved in today's fatal accident in Seville is MSN23 and was destined for the Turkish air force.

No further details were immediately available. Images of the crash site show the fuselage entirely burnt out.

News agency Reuters, quoting local emergency service officials, says seven people were aboard the airlifter. Three are listed as dead, two survived the accident and a further two are unaccounted for, it says.

13.04 UTC

An Airbus A400M airlifter crashed shortly after take-off on 9 May from the San Pablo airport in Seville, Spain, according to reports.

Airport officials tweeted that the airport was closed as firefighters attended to an accident beyond the facility’s enclosure. Spain’s prime minister also reportedly confirmed that an A400M crashed, killing a crew of eight to 10 people on board.

Pictures of the accident scene on social media located the wreck about 1nm (1.9km) north of the airport near a Coca Cola facility.

That would place the crash site on a direct bearing with diagonal runway at San Pablo airport, but it is not known which runway was used by the A400M for take-off.

The crash marks the first fatal incident involving the A400M in the programme’s 5.5-year flight history.

It comes as Airbus has recently restructured the programme following a series of production delays. In January, Airbus replaced the head of the military division that produces the airlifter with Fernando Alonso, formerly head of flight test operations. One month later, Airbus announced taking a €551 million ($620 million) fourth-quarter charge due to the production problems.

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