Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Madrid Airport Accident....Messing Up The Investigation

The investigation into what caused the horrific plane crash at Madrid's Barajas airport has now become a controversial issue in its own right. Last week saw resignations from the commission of investigation as some of its members claimed that they were becoming increasingly fed up with leaks of information about the crash. A first draft of initial conclusions was leaked to the press even though it had apparently not even reached the stage of being approved by the commission itself, and the number of possible causes of the crash has now multiplied as the press pick up on each possibility.

As if the leaking of the partial investigation didn't provoke enough confusion, the video of the final moments of the plane's failed attempt to take off was then released to the newspaper El País. This in turn provoked the wrath of the judge who is also investigating the crash; the same judge who had to demand to be given a copy of this video in the days following the accident. The judge banned El País from continuing to distribute the video, a bit of a pointless measure given that anyone who wanted to watch it had already had the chance. In any case, the short video only confirms what we more or less already knew, that the plane took off very briefly before coming back down again and careering off the runway towards the stream where it finally exploded.

The judge was probably upset that a video which he had to struggle to obtain then ends up so easily in the hands of the press. Fingers are being pointed at the government over both the leaks and the release of the video, El País is a favoured recipient of information in this manner. It's a pitiful way to conduct investigations and can't be doing anything to help the families of the victims who have already been left with the impression that those who died were in a plane that maybe shouldn't have been allowed to take off.

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