May 10, 2015 10:33 AM

Spain's leader praises men who helped save crash survivors

The Associated Press

MADRID (AP) Spanish authorities on Sunday praised the bravery of farmworkers who helped pull two survivors away from the burning wreckage of an Airbus A400M military transport plane that had crashed near Seville airport.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy posted a photograph of himself on Twitter talking to a farmer who had helped save the crewmen injured in Saturday's crash. Rajoy called the man "a hero for us all."

Spanish state television TVE and regional newspaper Diario de Sevilla on Sunday featured interviews with Francisco Miranda Escudero, who described how he and three other men had seen two people emerging from the broken fuselage and jumping down four to five meters (13-16 feet) to the ground.

"The flames were horrifying and the continuous explosions tremendous," said Miranda Escudero as he explained how he and Manuel Iglesias the man in Rajoy's photograph had pulled the injured away from the explosions.

He said the two owners of the field where the plane crashed also ran over to help them drag the men to safety.

The plane, which was undergoing flight trials, destroyed a high-tension electricity pylon as it smashed into the field, killing four people on board. Airbus spokesman Kieran Daly said it had been crewed by two pilots, three flight test engineers and a technician.

The A400M was developed by Airbus to replace aging Hercules transport planes. The machine that crashed had been due for delivery to Turkey in June.


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