I woke up to the sad news that a Boeing 747 carrying cargo and seven crew members crashed and exploded during takeoff from Halifax this morning. The only positive note in all of this is that no one in the media is speculating about irresponsibly about terrorism, at least not yet — maybe we’re starting to emerge from the fear-and-paranoia culture that infected us after 11 September, 2001. On the other hand, the TWA 800 conspiracy kooks will no doubt be interested in another story of a 747 exploding. [Update 2004-10-15: the 747 had a double tail strike and tail separation on takeoff.]
I visited Halifax in my Warrior last summer. It is a big airport designed for overseas traffic, with an 8,800 ft runway (Cat II ILS) a 7,700 ft runway, and no high terrain or obstructions nearby.
The next day, there is confirmation that the 747 suffered a double tail strike, after which the tail split off.