”We wish we had a jumbo,” Jose Manuel Alvarez, managing director of Empty Leg, the flight broker helping to organise the mercy dash to Galicia next week to help the oil spill clean up operation. The 170 places on board the special Futura flight which takes off on Monday were filled within under five hours, “the telephone lines opened at 7.30am. by 1pm there was no room left on the aircraft. “We were still taking calls last night, the phone was busy all day, we just had to thank the unlucky ones, but we can't afford to charter another plane, this is purely private intitiative,” he said. There is however a waiting list of 20, in case anyone drops out. The vast majority of the volunteers taking off at 6am on Monday for the four-day tour of duty on the beaches of north east Spain, are aged between 25 and 30 and 60 per cent are women. Balearic president Francesc Antich repeated his government's committment to helping the people of Galicia, confirming that 20 members of the Civil Protection department and 18 environmental engineers are on their way to the disaster zone. Antich will this morning attend a meeting called by Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar to discuss more measures to help Galicia with regional government leaders from across Spain. A team of 11 Balearic “young socialists” are already in Galicia helping the clean up.

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