Greece Airline Crash Kills 121; Firefighters Battle Brush Fires to Surrounding Areas

August 14, 2005

It appears all 121 people on board a Cypriot airliner died Sunday when the plane rammed into a hill north of Athens, Greece.

Early reports say one or both of the pilots may have been unconscious prior to the crash, perhaps from decompression in the cabin. A pair of Greek fighter planes shadowed the plane before it crashed, and military members reported seeing no movement in either the cockpit or the passenger cabin prior to the plane hitting the hill.

The flight, a Boeing 737 with 115 passengers and six crew, was headed from Larnaca, Cyprus to Athens International Airport at the time of the crash. State television reports said both black boxes were recovered at the scene and there were no reports of any terrorist connection to the downing of the plane at this time.

One official was quoted as saying the plane had decompression problems in the past.

Flames from the crash started several brush fires in the area, which firefighters were attempting to put out. One official said the plane went down some 400 meters (yards) from nearby homes and residents were trying to help in the recovery efforts.

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