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Sharp rise in number of deaths caused by air crashes last year

Staff Writer |
There has been a sharp rise in the number of deaths caused by air crashes last year.

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Airliner accidents killed 556 people last year compared with 44 in 2017, the Netherlands based Aviation Safety Network (ASN) reports.

It means that 2018 was worse than the five-year average of 14 accidents and 480 fatalities.

Last year's worst civilian accident was in October when a Lion Air plane crashed in Indonesia, killing 189.

An initial report suggested that technical problems had caused the Boeing 737 Max plane to crash into the Java Sea shortly after take-off from Jakarta.

Twelve of 2018's fatal accidents involved passenger planes, while three related to cargo flights.

However, the general trend is towards increasing passenger safety over the last two decades, with 2017 being the safest in history for commercial airlines as no passenger jet crashes were recorded.

Harro Ranter, ASN Chief Executive , said: "If the accident rate had remained the same as 10 years ago, there would have been 39 fatal accidents last year.

"At the accident rate of the year 2000, there would have been even 64 fatal accidents. This shows the enormous progress in terms of safety in the past two decades."

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