US aircrew blamed for 20 deaths
Friday 13 March 1998
Major General Michael DeLong, Marines Corp deputy commander in the Atlantic, told a news conference at the US airbase in Aviano, north-east Italy, that "air-crew error" had caused the plane to shear cable-car wires and send the car plunging into a mountain.
Gen DeLong's report said the crew of the EA-6B Prowler surveillance aircraft "aggressively manoeuvred their aircraft, exceeded the maximum air speed and flew well below 1,000 feet" on a training mission on 3 February.
Lieutenant-General Peter Pace, commander of US Marine forces in the Atlantic, said he had ordered a pre-trial investigation into the crew and an investigation of all other officers involved in the mission in the Dolomites mountains.
The crew inquiry would consider "whether charges such as involuntary manslaughter or negligent homicide, damage to private and government property and dereliction of duty should be referred to a general court martial," he said.
Italian prosecutors are also investigating the incident in which the victims, crushed below the mangled wreckage of the car in the resort of Cavalese, died instantly.
Gen DeLong said Marine Corps investigators had not been able to question the "mishap crew" members . The men had declined to answer questions. "We have not been able to interview the air crew so we have no idea what they thought or what they were thinking." he said.
- 1 10 ways we damage our teeth – without realising
- 5 Photo of wedding guest proposing to girlfriend in front of bride and groom goes viral
Hopes raised for treatment of severe amnesia after scientists retrieve lost memory – using light
Playboy model April Summers speaks out about being a victim of a voyeuristic sex crime
Poorest part of London is wealthier than the richest parts of Northern Ireland and Wales
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
How to live to be really old
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote
David Starkey 'tells Amal Clooney to shut up and stop over-promoting human rights'
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to develop an ...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the South East's fastest growing full s...
£35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...
£30000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Estimating, preparation of tech...