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Last Updated: Sunday, 29 July 2007, 21:19 GMT 22:19 UK
Brazilians protest over air crash
Protest march in Sao Paulo - 29/07/2007
The marchers carried flowers and signs criticising the government
About 5,000 Brazilians have demonstrated in Sao Paulo to blame the authorities for the country's worst aviation disaster on 17 July.

The protesters marched through the city to the smoke-blackened ruins of the cargo terminal where the plane crashed, killing 199 people.

The TAM Airlines Airbus 320 overshot the runway as it landed in wet weather and burst into flames.

There has been no confirmation of the cause of the crash.

'Misgoverning kills'

The protesters carried flowers and placards with slogans blaming the authorities for not acting to prevent the crash.

Among the marchers were relatives of some of the people killed.

Dr Mauricio Pereira wore a T-shirt with a picture of his 22-year-old daughter who was killed in the crash.

He held a banner saying: "Corrupt and incompetent officials killed my daughter," the Associated Press news agency reports.

Another banner read: "Misgoverning kills".

Air travel chaos

Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has come under fire for not doing more to invest in the country's airport infrastructure in a time when the economy is doing well and air travel is booming.

Congonhas airport (Photo: AirTeamImages)

The accident has led to air travel chaos in Brazil, where there have been mass cancellations and delays.

The main runway at Congonhas airport was re-opened on Friday but landings will be restricted in wet conditions until the surface is grooved to improve the drainage of rainwater.

The weekly news magazine Veja reported that the throttle was in the wrong position due to pilot error, causing the plane to hurtle down the runway.

Brazil's air force said it was too early to reach conclusions about the cause of the crash.

TAM Airlines has said that one the plane's two thrust reversers - which help jets slow down on landing - had been turned off during a maintenance check, but the company said the aircraft was safe to fly.

Investigators are still trying to determine if the main runway's condition and length played a role in the accident.




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