Staines air crash remembered 40 years on
A service to mark the 40th anniversary of the 1972 Staines air crash in which 118 people died will this year include a contingent from Brussels.
An event is held yearly in the Surrey town to remember when British European Airways Flight BE548 crashed in a field - one of the UK's worst air disasters.
The Brussels-bound aircraft had taken off minutes earlier from Heathrow.
Representatives from Brussels and staff from British Airways are expected to be at Monday's 40th anniversary service.
Spelthorne Borough Council said it was expected BA chief executive Keith Williams and other senior staff from the airline would be present, along with Councillor Robin Sider, mayor of Spelthorne, fellow councillors and other local authority staff.Aircraft broke in two
Mr Sider said: "The accident became known as the Staines disaster, and was the worst air disaster in Britain until the Pan Am flight 103 bombing over Lockerbie in Scotland in 1988.
"I am proud to be associated with the annual commemorations of this dreadful event and thank all who are coming to remember the occasion in their own way."
The Trident jet had been involved in another accident in 1968. Witnesses who saw it crash three miles from the airport reported how it "dropped out of the sky".
The plane broke in two as it fell. The fuselage ploughed into trees and the tail section landed 50 yards (45m) away.
Rescue teams pulled two people alive from the wreckage - a young girl, who died at the scene, and a businessman who died a few hours later in hospital.
An inquiry by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch found a speed error had caused the plane to stall and the aircraft was not at a sufficient height for the crew to regain control.
In 2004, the council created a memorial bench in Moormede Recreation Ground to provide a peaceful area for reflection.
It also co-funded a stained glass window which was installed at St Mary's Church to commemorate the tragedy.
Prayers will be said at 10:00 BST on Monday at the the Memorial Ground at Moormede Recreation Ground, followed by a service at 11:00 BST at St Mary's Church, Staines, where the Bishop of Guildford, the Rt Rev Christopher Hill will take the service.