1988 Remscheid A-10 crash

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1988 Remscheid A-10 crash
1988 Remscheid A-10 crash site.jpg
1988 Remscheid A-10 crash site © Steve Ouellette, 1988
Accident summary
Date December 8, 1988
Summary Crash during low-altitude flight
Site Remscheid, West Germany
51°11′11″N 7°09′38″E / 51.18639°N 7.16056°E / 51.18639; 7.16056Coordinates: 51°11′11″N 7°09′38″E / 51.18639°N 7.16056°E / 51.18639; 7.16056
Passengers 0
Crew 1
Fatalities 6, including 5 on the ground
Injuries (non-fatal) 50 (all on the ground)
Survivors 0
Aircraft type A-10 Thunderbolt II
Operator United States Air Force
Flight origin Nörvenich Air Base

The 1988 Remscheid A-10 crash occurred on December 8, 1988, when a United States Air Force attack jet, an A-10 Thunderbolt II crashed onto a residential area in the city of Remscheid, West Germany. The aircraft crashed into the upper floor of an apartment complex. In addition to the pilot, five people were killed. Fifty others were injured, including many seriously.

According to press reports[1] the plane was engaged in a low-altitude flight exercise. It belonged to a unit from Bentwaters Air Base but at the time of the accident was stationed at Nörvenich Air Base.[2]


When the number of cancer cases in the vicinity of the accident rose disproportionately in the years after, suspicion rose that the jet, contrary to US statements, may have been loaded with ammunition containing depleted uranium.[3][4]

In 2002, however, a test of soil samples from 250 meters around the crash site revealed no traces of depleted uranium.[5]

Another possible explanation for the increased cancer rate in the surroundings, which gained credibility because no uranium was found, is that the aircraft carried JP-8 fuel. This jet propellant is considered highly toxic and may have spread around the area of the crash.[6]


  1. ^ "West Germany / United States Plane Crash NBC News broadcast from the Vanderbilt Television News Archive". Archived from the original on 2009-05-27. Retrieved 2009-05-25. 
  2. ^ Westminster, Department of the Official Report (Hansard), House of Commons,. "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 12 Dec 1988". Retrieved 30 April 2017. 
  3. ^ Hindin, Rita; Brugge, Doug; Panikkar, Bindu (26 August 2005). "Teratogenicity of depleted uranium aerosols: A review from an epidemiological perspective". 4 (1): 17. PMC 1242351Freely accessible. PMID 16124873. doi:10.1186/1476-069X-4-17. Retrieved 30 April 2017 – via www.ehjournal.net. 
  4. ^ "Remscheid - DasErste.de". Retrieved 30 April 2017. 
  5. ^ "Umweltministerium NRW: Startseite". Retrieved 30 April 2017. 
  6. ^ u.a., Marion Hahn, Wolfgang Fischer. "JP-8 Militär-Treibstoff". Retrieved 30 April 2017. 

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