The day of the Tenerife airport disaster – level 1


It is March 27, 1977. A big plane is on a runway in Tenerife. Tenerife is a Spanish island. The plane is ready to start. There are 248 people on board the plane.

There is also another big plane on the runway. There is fog on the runway. The fog is big. The pilots from the first plane don’t see the second plane.

The pilots communicate with the control tower over the radio. Unfortunately, there is a problem with communication. When the first plane starts to go, the second plane is still on the runway.

When the pilot of the first plane sees the second plane, he tries to lift his plane into the air. It is too late. The planes are already very close. A big collision comes.

The collision and fire which comes after the collision kill all the people from the first plane. Only 61 people survive from the second plane. 583 people die in the accident. It is the worst plane accident in history.

Difficult words: fog (clouds near the ground), control tower (a building at an airport which controls planes), unfortunately (when something bad happens), lift (to move up into the air), collision (an accident when two planes hit each other), survive (to continue to live).

What safety precautions could be put in place to help prevent future air disasters of this scale?


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