2001-10-09

A Minute of Silence


Information about SK 686 Milan – Copenhagen Accident

Yesterday, Scandinavian Airlines, SAS, experienced a tragic accident that took the lives of the 110 passengers and crew onboard flight SK686 in Milan.

SAS wish to express our deep-felt sorrow and to show respect for the deceased passengers and colleagues. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who have been left behind. SAS will do its utmost to support and assist them in this difficult time.

We ask all employees to join in a minute of silence today at 1300 hours Central European Time (1100 GMT). The minute of silence will be honored throughout SAS, also on board our flights.

SAS Press Conference update
As Marie Ehrling expressed at the press conference this morning: "Not until now has it dawned upon us what has really happened, it is now we see the human beings behind the names on the passenger manifest and we are deeply touched. During the last 24 hours we have been totally focused on helping and assisting, and many SAS employees have done and continue to do a fantastic job."

There are many questions surrounding the possible role that the lack of an operative ground radar may have played in the tragic accident with SK686 yesterday at Linate airport in Milan.

At a press conference in Stockholm this morning, head of SAS' Flight Operations Lars Mydland said it has been confirmed that the ground radar was not operational at Linate yesterday. However, he reminded that a ground radar is just one of a number of means being used to maintain safety. He declined to speculate whether the accident could have been prevented if the radar had been in use and added that SAS operates from airports both with and without this equipment. For instance, in Sweden only Arlanda and Landvetter have ground radars.

Italian airport authorities have confirmed that SK686 had received clearance for takeoff. The aircraft's payload was such that it would need 1,200 meters of the 2,440-meter long runway before rotation. The plane was airborne at 0810 local time, which means that at least the nosewheel had left the ground.

Until the end of this week SAS will only operate from Milan's second airport, Malpensa.

A number of investigation teams have arrived at Linate, including the Italian, Swedish, German and U.S. National Transportation safety Boards. SK686 was of Swedish registry, the Cessna Citation involved in the crash was of German registry and the SAS Boeing MD87 was made in the U.S. SAS's Company Investigation Team (CIT) has also been dispatched to Linate to assist the authorities in the investigation.

SAS CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS



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