Margaret Thatcher at Manchester Airport, August 1985.
© Manchester Daily Express / Science & Society Picture Library
The Prime Minister talks to the press at Ringway after the British Airtours crash. On 22 August the crew of a Boeing 737 abandoned take-off due to engine failure. A punctured fuel tank led to a fire that spread to the cabin. The accident killed 53 of the 131 passengers and two of the six crew members. A principle cause of the fatalities was the inhalation of dense toxic smoke, door malfunction and restricted access to the exits. As a result, questions were raised about aircraft safety.