Tributes are organised in Madrid and Gran Canaria on 20 August every year. / PHOTO: EFE / VIDEO: EP

Victims of the 2008 Spanair plane crash claim the investigation is being blocked for political reasons

Saturday 20 August marked 14 years since flight JK5022 crashed at Madrid’s Barajas airport as it was taking off for Gran Canaria, killing 154 people and injuring 18 others

EUROPA PRESS Madrid

Saturday 20 August marked 14 years since Spanair flight JK5022 crashed at Madrid’s Barajas airport as it was taking off for Gran Canaria, killing 154 people and injuring 18 others.

Every year on this date, an association which was set up to help those affected by the accident organises tributes to the victims in Madrid and Gran Canaria, and this year was no exception.

However, speaking at a press conference during this year's tribute in Madrid’s Juan Carlos I park, Pilar Vera, the association’s president, indicated that they were feeling let down by the government because the President of the Spanish Congress, Meritxell Batet, has not sent the Director of Public Prosecutions the findings of the commission enquiry into the crash, which was approved by parliament in May 2021.

“The commission said that its report, which names 18 people, must be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions so further action can be taken, but the President of the Congress has decided not to send it,” she said.

She also explained that the association wants to take the people named in the report, who were all connected to the Ministry of Public Works in 2008, to court, but in order to do so the report needs to be seen by the Public Prosecution Office.

“We feel in limbo,” she said, and she believes Batet is probably guilty of obstructing the course of justice by not sending the report. The association “has the will” to start the legal process itself, but not the financial resources, she said.

“In spite of all the difficulties, we have to go on, we have to finish this,” Vera insisted.

Compensation

She also said it is regrettable that the victims had still not received compensation in accordance with EU and international regulations, and that 20 August has not been designated a national day for victims of air crashes and their families.

The airline went into liquidation in 2012 and the court case was closed nine years ago, but the Asociación de Afectados del Vuelo JK5022 insists that it will continue to fight for the rights of victims of air accidents to be recognised.