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Die Welt - Germany | Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Airline disasters exceed the imagination

The Brazilian airforce has discovered debris from the Air France passenger jet which went missing over the Atlantic on Monday with 228 people on board. This is the largest civil aviation catastrophe since 2001. The conservative daily Die Welt writes: "There were no images, no signs, no names, no message and no evidence, all of which is practically impossible to bear for a media society such as ours. This airliner simply fell from the world. Perhaps the flight recorder will be found, but what if not even that can be recovered? Every year across the world a stupefying two billion people travel by air, of whom an average of 500 lose their lives. But precisely the fact that air travel is so widespread endows fatal plane crashes with a particular sense of drama. Each time an airplain lifts off many people witness the struggle against nature's gravitational force. Flying is far safer than travelling by rail or road. Nonetheless it is and will always be an extraordinary feat."

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