Tragedia aérea en Madrid: hay al menos 140 muertos
Al menos 100 personas murieron tras el accidente, confirmó la Delegación de Gobierno en Madrid. Por su parte, aseguran que hay 27 supervivientes, 19 de ellos en estado grave.
Algunos medios extranjeros aseguran que la mayoría de los ocupantes de la aeronave eran turistas.
Según anunciaron medios locales, el avión de Spanair había tratado de despegar en dos ocasiones. Finalmente, instantes antes de la tragedia se incendió uno de los motores, lo que provocó que la aeronave se prendiera fuego.
En el operativo de rescate intervienen 230 sanitarios, 170 policías, 70 bomberos y cerca de 45 ambulancias. Hay cuatro hospitales de campaña en el lugar del accidente.
Según informaron a EFE fuentes de la Guardia Civil, se trata del vuelo 5022 de Spanair, con destino a Canarias, en el que viajaban 173 ocupantes.
Segun las primeras hipótesis, se habría incendiado uno de los motores izquierdos de la nave, lo que le impidió despegar y provocó se salga de pista.
Tras varias horas de suspensión de las operaciones, el aeropuerto de Barajas ya fue reabierto, aunque la Terminal Cuatro, donde se produjo la tragedia, aún permanecía cerrada.
El avión, un MD-82, fue fabricado por la empresa estadounidense Mc Donald Douglas. Expertos de la compañía y la agencia de seguridad aeronáutica de los EEUU enviarán expertos para estudiar las causas del siniestro.
At least 100 people have been killed after a passenger plane swerved off the runway at Madrid's Barajas airport, Spanish officials say.
Many others were hurt when the Spanair plane bound for the Canary Islands left the runway with 172 people on board.
There were reports of a fire in the left engine during take-off. TV footage showed smoke billowing from the craft.
Helicopters were called in to dump water on to the plane, and dozens of ambulances went to the scene.
The exact number of casualties is still unknown, with several reports suggesting just 26 people survived the crash, which happened at about 1430 local time (1230 GMT).
Officials confirmed to the BBC and Spanish news agency Efe that the death toll had passed 100.
The BBC's Steve Kingstone, in Madrid, says planes have begun to take off from the airport, but a grim line of emergency vehicles obscured the view of the crash scene.
Earlier, BBC journalist Stephanie McGovern, who is at the airport, said she had seen more than 70 ambulances leaving the scene.
Spanish journalist Manuel Moleno, who was near the area when the accident happened, said the plane appeared to have "crashed into pieces".
"We heard a big crash. So we stopped and we saw a lot of smoke," he said.
Mr Moleno said he had seen as many as 20 people walking away from the wreckage.
The plane, which was destined for Las Palmas in the Canary Islands, came down during or shortly after take-off from Terminal Four at Barajas.
TV footage showed that the plane had come to rest in fields near the airport.
Spanair issued a statement saying that flight number JK 5022 had been involved in an accident at 1445 local time. The airline's parent company, Scandinavian firm SAS, later said the accident happened at 1423.
According to Spain's airport authority, Aena, the plane had been due to take off at 1300 local time.
No details of the nationalities of the passengers on board have yet been released.
But the plane was a codeshare flight with German airline Lufthansa, which said it was investigating whether German passengers were on the flight.
Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero was on his way to the scene after cutting short his holiday, his office said.
The aircraft was a MD82, a plane commonly used on short trips around Europe, aviation expert Chris Yates told the BBC.
He said Spanair, a subsidiary of Scandinavian carrier SAS, had a very good safety record. Reports say it was the first crash at Barajas airport, some 13km (8 miles) from central Madrid, since 1983.
People concerned for relatives or friends who might have been on board the plane can call Spanair's helpline on +34 800 400 200 (from inside Spain only).