More Deaths In Fewer Airplane Accidents

SATURDAY, DEC. 21, 1996

The number of people killed in U.S. airplane accidents rose slightly this year, even though there have been fewer accidents than last year.

The National Transportation Safety Board reported Friday that 1,056 people have died in 1,915 airplane accidents so far this year.

The total for 1995 was 1,040 deaths in 2,211 accidents in the United States or involving U.S. carriers.

As usual, in both years the bulk of the deaths involved crashes of private planes with more than 600 deaths in that category each year.

The number of fatalities this year is lower than the tolls recorded in several years in the early 1980s, though deaths had been declining in recent years.

There have been 354 deaths involving major U.S. air carriers this year, including 12 aboard scheduled commuter carriers.

Airline fatalities tend to vary sharply from year to year, with no deaths in some years and several hundred in a year with one or more airliner accidents.

Worldwide this has been deadliest year ever for airline crashes with some 1,187 fatalities, topping 1,169 deaths in 1985, according to numbers compiled by the London-based company Airclaims.

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