Re­mem­ber­ing Staines crash 118

Vic­tims of the 1972 air tragedy honoured

Staines Informer - - NEWS -

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.

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