TAM 3054 : Brazil Prosecutor Charges 3 in 2007 Crash
SAO PAULO (AP) The federal prosecutor's office said Tuesday it has charged three people in connection with a plane crash that killed 199 people.
TAM Flight 3054, an Airbus A320, landed in driving rain at Sao Paulo's Congonhas airport on July 17, 2007, sped down the runway and crashed into a gas station and air cargo building at 110 mph (175 kph).
All 187 people aboard and 12 people on the ground died.
A statement on the website of the prosecutor's office said that charges have been filed against Denise Abreu, former director of Brazil's National Civil Aviation Agency, Alberto Fajerman, TAM's former vice president of operations and Marco Aurelio dos Santos de Miranda e Castro, the airline's former safety director.
The prosecutor's office says the three are to blame for allowing use of a runway that was unsafe due to a faulty drainage system.
Twenty days before the accident, the recently repaved runway was authorized for use despite lacking the grooves that allow water to run off the runway and provide increased grip.
The statement said that Abreu acted imprudently by authorizing the use of the grooveless runway. The two TAM directors were blamed for allowing the company's aircraft to land in Congonhas despite knowing of the runaway's lack of grooves.
The statement also said that one of the plane's thrust reversers, which help to slow aircraft upon landing, was not functional.
TAM said it had no comment on the charges filed and that Fajerman and Miranda e Castro no longer work for the airline.