An Airbus A400M military transport plane crashed in Seville on Saturday, killing at least three of those on board, emergency services said, in the first fatal accident involving Europe’s newest troop and heavy cargo carrier.
The plane was on a test flight when it crashed into a field one mile (1.6 km) north of Seville’s San Pablo airport. Seven people were on board; three had died, two were seriously injured and two more were unaccounted for, an emergency services spokeswoman said.
Media images showed a plume of black smoke rising from the crash site and fire-fighters spraying smoking wreckage in a ploughed field.
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy earlier told reporters on the campaign trail for May 24 local elections that it seemed all those on board worked at Airbus and were not military staff. He cancelled his political rallies for the day.
European aircraft maker Airbus said the transport plane, which is assembled in Seville, had been ordered by Turkey, and the company had sent a team to the crash site.
The A400M Atlas was developed for Spain and six other European NATO nations – Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, Luxembourg and Turkey – at a cost of 20 billion euros ($22.4 billion), in Europe’s largest joint defence project. It entered service in 2013 after a delay of more than three years.