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Monday, 8 October, 2001, 10:22 GMT 11:22 UK
Scores die in runway blaze
Crash site
The crash happened in thick morning fog
Two passenger planes have collided at Milan's Linate airport in Italy, killing at least 114 people, say reports.

One of the planes belonged to Scandinavian carrier SAS. It was taking off on a flight to Denmark when it hit a smaller Cessna plane on the runway in thick fog.

SAS hotlines for relatives
00 46 8 797 10 10
00 46 0200 727272
00 45 3232 6001
00 45 8024 0101
00 47 6758 5010
00 47 800 80610
00 358 800 90200
An SAS spokesman said the aircraft was Flight SK 686 flying from Milan to Copenhagen in Denmark with 104 passengers and six crew on board.

A fire official told the AP news agency that more than 100 people had died when the plane burst into flames after crashing into an airport baggage building.

The Italian news agency Ansa, quoting judicial officials, said 114 people were dead.

"We have had no reports of any survivors in hospital," SAS spokesman Michael Notrica told BBC News Online.

Rescue workers carry stretcher
Rescue workers were quickly on the scene
"However, we have not been able to confirm any fatalities. I understand it's a very complicated situation on the ground."

The plane was an MD-87, which had been due to take off at 0735 local time. The incident happened at 0815 (0615GMT).

The Cessna plane is believed to have belonged to a German carrier.

There was no early suggestion of terrorist involvement in the crash.

MD80-type plane, SAS
An SAS plane similar to the one which crashed. Picture: SAS
"As far as we can see it's a terrible accident," said Mr Notrica.

At least four of dead were from the Cessna, said reports. The two pilots were German, and the two passengers Italian, said Alessandra Tripodi, a spokeswoman at the Milan Prefect's office.

She said the Cessna had landed in Milan during a flight to Paris from the German city of Cologne.

'Terrible tragedy'

Airport workers described the situation as confused and said the number of dead could still rise.

"It's a terrible tragedy that fills us with pain and mourning and comes at an already difficult time in the international context," said provincial president, Roberto Formigoni.

Map of Italy
It was feared that some people on the ground might also have died.

Between 20 and 25 people would normally have been working in the baggage building which was hit by the plane, the airport management company, SEA, told the French news agency AFP.

Reports said at least two airport workers had been taken to hospital with serious injuries.

Relatives waiting for the SAS flight at Copenhagen airport were being offered counselling.

"SAS is doing everything possible to help passengers and to assist Italian authorities at this time," said the airline in a statement.

Linate, which is 7km (four miles) from the city centre, is Milan's second-biggest airport - most air traffic is handled at Malpensa.

See also:

01 Nov 00 | World
Air disaster timeline
25 May 00 | Europe
Briton killed in runway crash
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