1988 Remscheid A-10 crash

1988 Remscheid A-10 crash

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]


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