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Italy marks 20th anniversary of Linate airport plane accident in Milan

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By Euronews
FILE
FILE   -   Copyright  Comune di Milano
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Italian citizens have held a minute's silence to remember victims, 20 years after the Linate plane accident.

Memorials were held at 08:10 at every airport across the country to mark the anniversary of Italy's worst aviation disaster.

A total of 118 people were killed when a Scandinavian Airlines flight collided with a small private Cessna aircraft at Milan's airport in 2001.

The accident occurred as the airliner was due to take off for Copenhagen in thick fog, with 110 passengers and crew on board.

All four people on the Cessna business jet to Paris were also killed, as well as four people on the ground.

An investigation into the disaster found that it was caused by negligent safety standards and procedures at the airport.

Milan authorities held a mass on Friday at the Bosco dei Faggi, led by Archbishop Mario Delpini. The names of all 118 victims of the tragedy were read out before wreaths were laid at the memorial.

AP Photo/Luca Bruno, file
An engine, left, and other scattered parts of a SAS airliner are seen on the runway of the Milan Linate airport.AP Photo/Luca Bruno, file

"It is imperative for institutions to safeguard and strengthen the capital of trust on which our society is based," Letizia Moratti, the Vice President and Councillor for Welfare of the Lombardy Region.

Moratti also thanked the victims' association for turning "heartbreaking grief into civic commitment" to air safety, so that such air accidents will never happen again.

"Civil society can bring about change and this has happened, and my invitation is to go ahead and continue," added Milan Mayor Giuseppe Sala, who lost a friend in the disaster.

"It is a pain you can only live with, the Milanese community is grateful and will always remember this tragedy."

Adele Scarani Pesapane, president of the 8 October victim's association, also paid tribute to her husband Maurizio who died in the crash.

"The scars are the sign that it was hard and the smile is the sign that you made it," she said.

"We are here in this very significant place ... because we do not want whims and fairy tales to erase the memory, we do not want the tragedy to fuel anger and resentment".

Additional sources • ANSA