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Britain, Germany, and Turkey ground Airbus A400s

May 10, 2015

In the wake of the deadly crash of an Airbus A400M in Spain, three countries have decided to temporarily stop using the new aircraft. The French military has insisted there is no reason to do so.

Spanien Absturz Airbus A400M
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/Seville Fire Department

Turkey, Germany and Britain all announced Sunday that they were temporarily suspending the use of their Airbus A400M military planes following a fatal crash near the southern Spanish city of Seville during a test flight on Saturday.

At least four people died when, according to a witness, the aircraft collided with a power line following a failed emergency landing on the outskirts of Seville in the first deadly accident involving the new military transport plane.

"After the A400M crash near Seville it was decided Saturday to suspend until further notice the test flights of the German defense forces' sole A400M," a military spokesman told French news agency AFP.

This leaves five of the 12 new airplanes grounded. France has said it will not ground its fleet of six planes, saying there were "no facts compelling us" to do so, according to an air force officer. Colonel Jean-Pascal Breton told AFP that though the army would not sidestep security concerns, "we don't have any reason" to ground the planes at this point.

Spanish officials are still attempting to determine the number of passengers that were on the downed plane. A team of experts has been dispatched to the crash site.

The A400M is designed to transport troops and cargo, including vehicles and helicopters, over long distances with tremendous speed and still land on difficult terrain. A total of 174 orders have been placed, including 53 by Germany, 50 by France, 27 by Spain and 22 by Britain.

es/cmk (AP, AFP)