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Swissair, KLM Planes in Near Miss

September 11, 1998

DUBLIN, Ireland (AP) _ A Swissair plane heading to New York with 151 people on board narrowly missed colliding with a KLM jet today over the Atlantic Ocean southwest of Ireland, the airlines said.

A collision was avoided thanks to electronic warning devices, said Swissair spokesman Erwin Schaerer. There were no injuries and passengers weren’t in danger, he added.

Both planes involved were MD-11s _ the same type as the one the Swissair jet that crashed off the coast of Halifax, Nova Scotia, last week, killing all 229 on board.

Flight 114 from Geneva was flying at about 35,000 feet when the KLM MD-11 approached, Schaerer said. He didn’t give the exact distance between the two aircraft, but said it was ``certainly several kilometers.″

It was not immediately known how many passengers were aboard the KLM flight. KLM spokesman Youssef Eddini said that Flight KL0752 was flying from Curacao in the Dutch Antilles to Amsterdam and had landed safely there.

``We are talking to the crew and the captain to find about what has happened exactly,″ Eddini said.

Schaerer said both planes had collision warning devices, and the Swissair plane descended while the KLM aircraft rose.

The incident took place in the Shanwick Oceanic Airspace, southwest of Ireland, said Louise Edwards, a senior manager at the Irish Aviation Authority. The aviation jurisdiction comes under the control of Britain’s Civil Aviation Authority, she said.

A spokesman for the British agency said it could not comment on the incident, but was investigating and speaking with both pilots.

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