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您现在的位置: 考试吧 > 英语听力 > 大学英语听力 > 大学体验英语第二册 > 正文

大学体验英语综合教程第二册Unit4:Passage A:Death of a Dream

  Death of a Dream

  They boarded the plane in New York City with high hopes. The 18 members of the United States figure skating team would fly to Brussels, Belgium. Then they were to go on to Prague, Czechoslovakia, for the world ice skating championships. A photo was taken of the team members as they stood on the steps of the Sabena Airlines 707 jet. The best of America's skaters beamed for the camera. Mostly young, they laughed and giggled, their eyes dancing with excitement. This was going to be the time of their lives.

  There were three ice skating pairs on the plane. Two were brother-and-sister teams: Laurie and William Hickox and Ida and Ray Hadley. There was also the husband-and-wife team of Patricia and Robert Dineen. But the brightest star of all was a singles skater. Her name was Laurence "Laurie" Owen. Only 16 years old, she had won the North American title for women just two days earlier. Laurie had great skill, dazzling grace, and a winning smile.

  Laurie came from a skating family. Her mother, Maribel, had won the U.S figure skating championship nine times. Laurie had an older sister who shared her mother's name. Maribel Owen, age 20, was not quite as strong a skater as Laurie. Still, she had just won the U.S. senior pairs championship. All three of the Owen women were on the plane bound for Brussels.

  Sabena Flight 548 took off at 7:30 P.M. on February 14, 1961. The flight across the Atlantic was pleasant. Early the next day, the plane neared the airport at Brussels. There seemed to be no cause for concern. There was no distress signal of any kind from the pilot, Captain Louis Lambrechts. There were no storms or high winds in the region. In fact, the weather was perfect. It was warm and sunny.

  But something must have gone wrong in the cockpit. During the last few minutes before the scheduled landing, Captain Lambrechts did not contact the Brussels airport. Just before 10:00 A.M., he lowered the wheels of the jet and began his approach to land. But, at the last moment, he pulled the plane up. Perhaps he saw another jet taking off and feared a collision. Or perhaps he already knew that something was wrong with his plane. In any case, he circled the airport and prepared to try again.

  Lambrechts came in a second time, flying about 500 feet over a farm near the village of Berg, northeast of Brussels. Then he suddenly increased his speed and pulled the plane into a steep climb. By this time, officials in the Brussels control tower could tell that something was very wrong. "We saw the crash coming," said one official. "They couldn't have been faster," the official said. "But there was nothing they could do."

  A man riding on a train saw that the plane was in trouble. "The plane appeared to be making a normal approach to land when it suddenly reared up into the sky," he said. "Then it fell back like a great stone and we heard the explosion."

  It was 10:05 A.M. when the Sabena jet hit the ground and exploded in a ball of flames. It just missed hitting a row of houses. All 72 people on board were killed, including 49 Americans and 11 members of the crew. There was nothing anyone could do. The crash site was a scene of total destruction. Debris was scattered over 200 yards. Charred remains and body parts were strewn all over the area. Several couples on the plane were found locked in a final embrace.

  The crash stunned skaters and figure skating fans around the globe. Never before had anything so tragic happened in their sport. To honor the dead, the Prague competition was canceled. The crash was particularly devastating for some families. In addition to the Owen family, with its loss of three women, nine other skating families suffered more than one death. The hopes and dreams of these athletes had ended in a flash. All that remained as rescuers combed through the wreckage were three pairs of melted skates dangling from one of the wings.

  推荐:雅思口语专用烹饪词汇

     雅思作文备考提纲18篇

     会飞的照相机和相片

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