BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Europe
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-------------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Friday, 9 February, 2001, 16:04 GMT
Italy condemns cable car pilots
The wreckage of the Italian cable car
A US military jury found the jet's pilot not guilty of manslaughter
An Italian parliamentary commission has branded as "criminals" the crew of a US jet which caused a cable car accident in 1998, killing 20 people.

The commission said it was clear that the crew and the US chain of command were responsible for the disaster on Mount Cermis.


It's a shame that these two criminals.. were acquitted

Ermanno Iaobellis, commission head
Only one skier survived when the US Marines jet sliced through cables and sent the cable car plunging to their ground.

A US military jury found the jet's pilot not guilty of manslaughter, though he and the jet's navigator were dismissed from the marines for destroying a videotape of the flight.

"It's a shame that these two criminals - because this is what they are - were acquitted. Their responsibility is clear and direct," said Ermanno Iaobellis who headed the commission.

Families angered

The families of the victims and the sole survivor of the crash were awarded compensation last year, which was 75% funded by the US Government.

They were angered by the acquittal of the pilot, Captain Richard Ashby.

Previous Italian and American investigators found the jet was flying too low and too fast when it hit the cable.

However the commission said that the current regulations for low-altitude flights were sufficient.

The US embassy in Italy has not yet commented on the report.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

11 May 99 | Americas
Cable car disaster pilot jailed
10 Mar 99 | Americas
Italy raises stakes over ski tragedy
04 Mar 99 | Americas
Pilot cleared of cable car charges
03 Apr 99 | Americas
Ski tragedy airman faces dismissal
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Europe stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Europe stories