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Britons killed in Italy plane crash

Two Britons died in a light aircraft crash in north east Italy, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office confirmed today.

The accident happened near the town of Rovereto in the Veneto area of the country.

The victims, aged 81 and 54, have not been named.

An FCO spokesman said consular assistance was being provided.

According to reports in the Italian media, the single-engined Socata Tampico aeroplane crashed in a valley yesterday, and killed four people.

The Gazzettino newspaper described the Italian pilot, Vittorio Rossetti, as "very experienced", and said engine failure was the probable cause of the accident.

The plane took off from Venice's Nicelli airport and stopped in the town of Trento before tragedy struck as it made the return journey.

The Italian air safety agency has launched an investigation into the crash.

The pilot and his wife, Marinella, who was also killed in the crash, were believed to have been members of the Italian branch of the Flying Rotarians, part of the Rotary International organisation.

The group was holding a conference in Venice over the weekend which involved a flight yesterday to visit an aeronautical museum in Trento.

An initial reconstruction of the accident suggests the plane crashed in dense forest before rolling for some distance and catching fire, it was reported.

Witnesses quoted in the Italian press said they saw the plane flying very low before dropping suddenly to the ground at around 4.30pm yesterday.

The initials of the British victims were given in the Italian press as JR and KJ.