This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.
Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index
BBC Learning English Launch BBC Media Player
  • Help
  • Text only
You are in:Learning English > News English > Words in the News
Learning English - Words in the News
17 August, 2005 - Published 10:57 GMT
Venezuela plane crash

Emergency services have arrived at the crash site of a Colombian airliner in the Venezuelan mountains. All 160 people on board the West Caribbean Airways flight from Panama to Martinique died in the impact. This is the second accident this year involving West Caribbean Airways. This report from Jeremy McDermott:

Listen to the story

All the rescuers found in the mountains of the Sierra de Perija in Venezuela was the scattered wreckage of the plane and the charred corpses of its occupants. There were no survivors.

The plane not only lost both of its engines - a fact revealed from its last radio messages - but the aircraft exploded on impact, producing a fireball that was seen kilometres away. The aircraft's black box has been found and will be analysed by experts from Venezuela and France, which has sent its own investigators to look into the tragedy.

West Caribbean Airways is now under the microscope. The company lost another aircraft in March this year in a crash which killed eight people. The airline is in severe financial difficulties and even before this disaster had been told to tighten up its maintenance programme by the Colombian Aviation Authority. The company's promised to suspend flights until preliminary investigations are completed.

Jeremy McDermott, BBC News, Medellin

Listen to the words

scattered wreckage
parts of the broken plane not found in one place

charred corpses
dead bodies that became black because they were burned


exploded on impact
burst as a result of crashing into something

black box
a flight recorder in an aircraft

to look into
to investigate

under the microscope
under scrutiny, under investigation

lost another aircraft
refers to the fact that the company had another plane crash

in severe financial difficulties
badly lacking money

to tighten up
to make more stringent; to follow the rules more closely

Read more about this story
Do a comprehension test about this story

For teachers
Lesson plan Lesson plan based on this text (140k pdf)

Other Stories