Fire destroys Armavia plane days after deadly crash
Published: 5/5/2006

Turkish Press
May 5 2006

BRUSSELS - A fire in a Brussels airport hangar destroyed an Armavia
Airbus A320 identical to one which recently crashed into the Black Sea
killing everyone aboard, the company using the hangar said on Friday.

The blaze, spotted in the building at around midnight (0200 GMT)
and brought under control about two hours later, gutted the Armavia
plane and three others, said Christophe Bernardini, head of the Sabena
Technics maintenance company.

Bernardini, whose firm maintains Armavia's Airbus planes including
the one that crashed, said the Armenian company had lost two of its
five Airbus in less than a week.

His announcement came as mourners gathered off the Russian resort of
Sochi at the spot where the Armenian jet plunged into the waters early
on Wednesday, killing all 113 people on board, in a crash apparently
caused by bad weather.

In Armenia, a spokesperson for the civial aviation authority confirmed
to AFP that the plane had been destroyed in Brussels.

"An A320 from the company Armavia, which was undergoing maintenance
checks with the Sabena Technics firm in Brussels, was burnt," the
spokesperson said.

Meanwhile Armenian Defence Minister Serge Sargsian played down
suggestions that the fire was connected with the recent accident or
was lit deliberately.

"I can't see any link between these two events and I don't think
someone did it on purpose," he said during a brief press conference
at Yerevan airport.

Flights were disrupted at Brussels airport Friday morning due to
smoke still rising from the hangar, situated some distance from the
airport's passenger terminals and runways.

The cause of the fire has not been established.