“Control tower, I request permission to go down from 10,200 to 5,500 feet”. With these words, Commander José Luis Ballester of the Caravelle de Iberia, who was making the flight IB602 between Valencia and Ibiza, was preparing to land on the island. “Permission granted”They answered him from the Ibiza airport. This conversation, on the morning of January 7, 1972, was the prelude to the hitherto greatest air disaster that had taken place in Spain. A total of 104 people, including crew and passengers, lost their lives that day. There were no survivors. Tomorrow is fulfilled half a century after the disaster.
The conversation between the commander of the Caravelle and the air traffic controller continued around at a quarter past twelve on January 7, 1972. Since then, There were only about five minutes left before the plane touched down at the Ibiza airport. Something that it never happened.
The absence of news from the plane awoke the alarm in the control tower. No one responded from the plane to repeated attempts to contact the aircraft. After that time, from the Pitiuso airport Notice was given to the SAR of the Air Force, based in Palma, so that they would find some vestige of the Caravelle of Iberia. Two Gruman planes flew over the area, but the thick fog prevented any trace from being found.
In the moments before the catastrophe, the farmer Josep Ribas was working the land on his farm C’an Prim, at the foot of the Serra de sa Talaia. Became the sole eyewitness to the disaster. The low altitude at which the Caravelle flew, much lower than any other aircraft that crossed the sky at that point when starting the landing maneuver, caught his eye.
A loud roar and the ensuing explosion They led him to realize that a great tragedy had just occurred. Next, the farmer Josep Ribas denounced the catastrophe at the Sant Josep Civil Guard post. Later, He spearheaded the rescue efforts and displayed his knowledge of the terrain.
The place where the Caravelle crashed was known as its High Rocks. The wreckage of the wrecked plane was scattered in a radius of one kilometer. The nose was intact and the impact came from the belly. Was the unequivocal sign that the pilot tried to rectify and performed a desperate maneuver to try to avoid the collision at all costs. His efforts were in vain.
Rescue work lasted throughout the afternoon of January 7 until nightfall. From this moment on, the painful labors They continued with the help of flashlights.
The funeral and the funeral held in Sant Josep de sa Talaia brought together all the consternation over the 104 deaths occurred in the plane crash. Condolences were conveyed by Pope Paul VI to the bishop of Ibiza.
What until then was the largest plane crash ever to have occurred in Spain shocked society. It would take five years for the Los Rodeos disaster to overcome it.
Sant Josep will remember with acts the half century of the tragedy
The town hall of Sant Josep de sa Talaia will remember with various acts the 50th anniversary of an air disaster that shocked the collective memory of all the residents of the municipality: the accident of the Caravelle EC-ATV of Iberia, on January 7, 1972, in which all its occupants died. They were a total of 104 people, between crew and passengers.
Among the scheduled events, which will take place between January 7 and 9, the tribute to the victims and their memory will be shared with family and friends of all of them. Those who participated in the rescue of human remains will also be remembered. Coinciding with the time of the accident, at 12:15 pm on Friday, a wreath of flowers will be placed in the chapel of ses Roques Altes.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.