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    sign of locality of Calci, the foothills of Mount Serra, east of Pisa.

    Fuselage of the Hercules C-130, officers walking into fuselage area of plane, dead bodies covered with blankets, searching for more bodies, American troops helping in rescue work, sign ironically indicating "emergency exit", life rafts, scattered pieces of the wreckage.

    44 persons, 38 naval cadets and 6 officers (five of whom were, crew members of the Hercules transport) lost their lives when a Hercules C-130 military transport place crashed into the 918 metre high Monte Serra East of Pisa. The place rammed into the mountain at 15:35, only a few minutes after takeoff from the San Giusto military airport at Pisa.)

    The plane was carrying 38 naval cadets from the Naval Academy of Leghorn, who accompanied ??? a commanding officer, were on their first training flight.

    According to eyewitness reports the plane burst into flames as it crashed into the mountain. Other persons report that the place was flying extremely low, and it appeared that it was out of control.

    Rescue work was carried on throughout the night with the aid of huge electric photocells and by morning 39 bodies had been recovered. The crash was Italy's most dramatic military air incident in peacetime.

    The hercules C-130, which rammed into the mountain, was one of the fourteen bought by the Italian government in 1969 from the Lockheed company and for which two former defense ministers are under charge of corruption.

    The crash occurred, by strange coincidence on the same day of the first parliamentary joint session meeting to decide whether to charge the two ministers with corruption.


    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

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