An air crash occurred in Italy 3:50 p.m. Greenwich time April 18. A small tourism plane Piper, following from Locarno (Switzerland) to Milan hit a 30-story building near Milan's main train station. The building situated in the centre of Milan financial area is the symbol of Italian business. It houses the Lombardy region’s government offices. According to provisional data, three people were reported dead and sixty wounded. The air crash automatically provokes associations with the Sept.11 terror attacks in New York. However, the Italian authorities are inclined to say the crash was not a premeditated one. There was only one pilot, no more passengers on board.
The crash was quite probably because of a technical failure, that is the explanation why the plane hit the 25th story of the skyscraper. Shortly before the crash the pilot sent out a distress call about the undercarriage failure to the Milan – Linate airport. Chief of a Swiss aeroclub, which member the Piper pilot, Louigi Gino Fasulo was, says the man was an experienced pilot. People did not notice anything strange in the conduct of Fasulo before the flight.
When the plane requested landing in the airport of Milan, the Piper undercarriage failed. In attempts to make the undercarriage operate, the pilot performed a turn over Milan. Italian experts think, the pilot felt unwell and lost control of the airplane. Soon the crash occurred.
Technical failure is very likely to be declared the main reason of the crash. Still, a terrorism attack version is to be considered as well. Moreover, Italian special services think that Italy is among highly probable targets for terrorism attacks. There is one more version, that the pilot probably attempted to suicide. At least, witnesses say the crash looked as if the pilot directed the plane against the skyscraper deliberately.
A large-scale accident occurred in the USA as well. A famous Amtrak train hurtled off the tracks on its non-stop journey from Orlando to Washington Thursday in rural northern Florida. The Amtrak national railway company reports, at least six people were killed and some 150 wounded in the crash. However, no official confirmation of the victims number was reported yet. Total number of passengers aboard was 468.
Authorities report, about 75 people were locked in the overturned passenger cars. Rescue services did not reach them at once as the accident site is remote from large built-up areas. The reason of the accident is not clear yet. The train derailed at a high-speed section of a recently built railway, that is really very popular among Washington citizens who leave for Florida for weekends.
The end of the week in Europe and the USA was “abundant” in tragic accidents. It looks as though none of transport modes (air and land ones) is secure any more. Certainly, thorough investigations of the accidents are to be started, the reasons will be found. However, we can not speak about any of the two transport modes as about a safer one any more.
Vasily Bubnov PRAVDA.Ru
Photo from NTVRU.com archives
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/04/19/39963.html