Remembering Staines crash 118
Victims of the 1972 air tragedy honoured
THE annual anniversary of a plane crash near Staines in which 118 people died has been marked at a memorial service.
Widely regarded as Britain’s worst air disaster until the 1988 Lockerbie bombing when 270 people were killed, it took place when British European Airways Flight BE548 crashed in a field near Staines in 1972.
The Trident Brussels-bound ‘Papa India’ from Heathrow plummeted just 150 seconds into the flight after its engine stalled.
Prayers were led by Rev Michael Burley at the Memorial Ground at Moormede Recreation Ground on Saturday June 18, followed by a service at St Mary’s Church.
“Papa India was the worst accident before Lockerbie and as a community we are privileged to commemorate all of those who lost their lives in Staines Moor in this tragedy,” he said. “The most moving part of the service is reading out the 118 names of crew and passengers who lost their lives, with some relatives still present.”
A commemorative stained glass window was installed on the south elevation of the 19th century church in 2004.
Designed by Artemis Decorative Glass, it depicts a dove, representing peace, soaring over a landscape of trees. It is framed by stars, symbolising the 118 who died.
The day disaster struck: Firemen tackle the burning rubble of the wrecked BEA Trident after it crashed near Staines. Pictures: Alistair Wilson. Ref: RS162428
Paying respects to those who lost their lives in the 1972 air disaster near Staines.