Prosecutors probe SAS over accidents

A prosecutor in Stockholm, where SAS is headquartered, is probing the Scandinavian carrier after two accidents involving its Q400 fleet, an official said Wednesday.

“SAS was notified of the launch of the investigation on Friday,” spokesman Hans Ollongren told AFP.

“I think the investigation was opened the same day,” he said, adding that the aim of the probe was to establish if SAS had endangered people’s lives.

“The preliminary investigation is based on the events that occurred on September 9 and 12 in Ålborg and Vilnius, respectively, in which SAS Q400 aircraft were involved,” he said.

The turboprops were manufactured by Bombardier of Canada.

On September 9, an SAS Dash 8-Q400 with 73 people aboard crash-landed at an airport in Ålborg, northern Denmark after its landing-gear failed.

No one was seriously injured in that incident, even though the right engine and wing caught fire. The blaze was quickly extinguished.

Three days later, a Dash 8-Q400 from Copenhagen headed for Vilnius made an emergency landing in the Lithuanian capital after the landing gear malfunctioned.

Following the two incidents, authorities in Scandinavian countries decided to ground all Dash 8-Q400 planes owned by the airline until further notice.

The SAS spokesman rejected suggestions that the airline was stonewalling the investigation, saying: “We will naturally cooperate with the prosecutor and provide all necessary information.”