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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 December 2005, 12:39 GMT
Couple sue over holiday air crash
A businessman and his wife whose dream holiday ended in a plane crash on an excursion say they plan to sue travel operator, First Choice.

James Spencer, 34, and his wife Sandra, were on a trip to Venezuela when the light aircraft lost power at 11,000ft.

Mr Spencer, from Taunton, fractured three ribs while his 32-year-old wife suffered seatbelt burns and whiplash.

A First Choice spokesman said: "The contract was between the customers and the excursion operator."

'Engine failed'

The couple are claiming compensation from First Choice over the 2003 accident.

Mr Spencer, who said the couple had not flown since, added that passengers on the small plane were told the engine had failed and they would have to glide to safety.

It was quite a big impact, but everyone remained calm
James Spencer

"We were taking a trip to Angel Falls," he said.

"About half-way there the engine failed at 11,000ft and the pilot said we were heading for an emergency runway.

"We came down just before the runway. It all happened very quickly. It was quite a big impact, but everyone remained calm. I think everyone was in shock."

Mr Spencer, who runs a Taunton-based car valeting firm, booked the 2,500 trip with First Choice and took the Angel Falls trip as an extra excursion.

A spokesman for First Choice said: "The contract was between the customers and the excursion operator and this was clearly stated in the booking conditions.

"First Choice Holidays and Flights Ltd act solely in the capacity of an agent on behalf of the excursion provider.

"First Choice is not aware of whether Mr and Mrs Spencer or their solicitors have taken the matter up directly with the supplier as the contract stated."

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