• Short Summary

    Shattered on the dusty ground around Nettuno village, south east of Rome October 22 lay the wreck of an air giant.

  • Description

    Shattered on the dusty ground around Nettuno village, south east of Rome October 22 lay the wreck of an air giant.

    Scattered far and wide lay engines, torn wings, a ripped fuselage, the tailplane, the broken bones of a BEA Viscount and the belongings of passengers and crew who died - briefcases, a honeymoon couple's suitcases, a model's bag, a newsman's typewriter, a press camera, a sandal, a shoe, a boot, bits of clothing.

    The belongings of the 31 who met sudden death five miles up when the plane a four-engine turbo-prop, was in collision with an Italian air force Sabre jet.

    Only one passenger and a score of day old chicks on board hit the ground alive. But the passenger did not survive the journey to hospital.

    Investigators immediately opened an inquiry. The main question was did the air control system in the area fail? One man was best able to tell the story. He was the 28 year old pilot whose fighter was in collision with the Viscout. And he was unable to speak in hospital after escaping death by his ejector seat.

    The Viscount, out of London, was ten minutes flying time from Naples and bound for Malta. It glinted in a blue cloudless sky. Seconds later its fuselage crunched to earth, looking as though some blunt tin opener ripped into it.

    A peasant looked up at the mid-air explosion, saw bodies falling dark against the sky "like Autumn leaves." Spiralling crazily to earth not far from the wartime Anzio beach-head was the disintegrating airliner, plunging the sparkling Autumn day into black horror.

    The local civic hall, draped in black and with flag at half mast, became a mortuary. Villagers and peasants crowded in silence outside as police carried in the bodies under blankets.

    An Italian Government inquiry into the disaster was being opened October 24.

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  • Data

    Film ID:
    Media URN:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Issue Date:
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Black & White
    Time in/Out:

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