Western Daily Press April 11th 1973. Stephen Chadwick, former Western Daily Press sub-editor
RADIO contact with the crashed plane was lost between 10 and 10.10 a.m. after it overshot Basle-Mulhouse airport in fog and driving snow, airport authorities said last night. Five minutes later the plane vanished from the radar screens, heading south to the foothills of the Jura mountains. It wasn’t until over an hour-and-a-half later that the crash was properly con- firmed. Villagers said they had been confused by the echo of the crash, and went first to the wrong part of the valley.
It was more than an hour- and-a-half after that that the first ambulances arrived at the crash scene near the tiny village of Hochwald, about eight miles south of Basle. The whole area had been hit by telephone and power failures, after a night of freak blizzards which left three feet of snow, many roads blocked. with Police called in farmers to clear paths with to the crash site. tractors Swiss Army were called in, helicopters and heavy army transport mobilised. Villagers said they heard the plane, its engines screaning. fly low over the area. They say a at the top wing hit tree covered hill. of a fores The plane then ploughed into the down forest. trees. ripping The tail section, contain survivors ing most of the finished upside down. Farmer’s wife Mrs. Rosa Biri aged 26 was one 0. the first to reach the crash scene. She said: “It was a horrible sight, pieces of bodies even heads lying or in the snow. on top, “We tried to dig out the injured, and I think there must have been about 40 or 50 of them.
“We took them to different houses and collected blankets, but many of them died. *T am afraid there was little we could do to care for some of the terrible injuries people suffered.’ One of the survivors, Mr. Barry Jones, of The Paddock House, Ivywell Road, Sneyd Park, Bristol, told me: “Suddenly trees appeared in front. We climbed at a high angle. “Then I was upside down in my seat belt. The plane was right over. “Then a stewardess was helping us out.’ Mr. Jones, headmaster of Avonhurst School, Clifton, helped more survivors from the wreckage. Mr. Jones flew back to London last night. -The four crew members killed were Captain Terry, Captain Dorman, and stewardesses Manning and Sadler.