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Airline crash deaths down 75 percent over last year

By Dmitry Rashnitsov   |   Feb. 15, 2016 at 4:40 PM

MONTREAL, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- Commercial airline safety is on an upward trend, with 136 deaths in four accidental plane crashes reported in 2015 -- a 75 percent drop over the year before, the International Air Transport Association reported.

"2015 was another year of contrasts when it comes to aviation's safety performance. In terms of the number of fatal accidents, it was an extraordinarily safe year," said Tony Tyler, IATA's director general and CEO. "And the long-term trend data show us that flying is getting even safer."

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In 2014, 641 people died in airline accidents.

The four crashes in 2015 involved turboprop planes, not jets.

The report did not include two deliberate crashes: Germanwings Flight 9525, which was caused by a suicidal pilot, and Metrojet Flight 9268, which was a suspected terrorist attack. Those two crashes killed a total of 374 people.

More than 3.5 billion people flew safely on 37.6 million commercial flights, the IATA said.

Although there were no passenger fatalities on jet transports, there were two accidents with jet aircraft that resulted in death. Eight people were killed when a cargo plan went off a runway in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Seven people aboard an air ambulance are presumed dead after their small jet collided with a passenger jet over Senegal. The wreckage has not been located.

IATA, based in Montreal, represents some 260 airlines comprising 83 percent of global air traffic.

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