Mobile phone link to fatal Swiss air crash

Did ten people die because someone left their mobile turned on? Investigators think so

Swiss aviation officers believe the plane crash at Zurich airport last January which killed ten people was caused by a mobile phone.

Three crew members and seven passengers died when the Saab 340 plane -- Crossair flight LX 498 -- crashed shortly after take-off. The cause of the disaster has never been determined, but investigators are now examining the possibility that electrical interference from a mobile phone could have been responsible.

Tests have shown that the navigational system of the Saab 340 can be disrupted by signals emitted by a mobile phone.

Investigators have now contacted mobile network operators for precise information about all calls made at the time of the crash.

"We have asked mobile phone operators to check whether a call was made or a message sent just before the crash. These are recorded precisely to the second. We need a court order to give us access, but should have this data by the end of May," said investigation leader Jean Overney, according to The Daily Telegraph Thursday.

Most countries and airlines ban passengers from using mobile phones, or even having them switched on, during a flight. Up until now, however, there has been no evidence of a mobile phone causing an aeroplane to actually crash.

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