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Wednesday, 10 October, 2001, 11:41 GMT 12:41 UK
British plane crash victims named
Tail of SAS plane
The SAS plane burst into flames, killing all on board
Two Britons killed in a collision between two planes at Italy's Milan Linate airport have been named by the UK Foreign Office.

A total of 118 people died when a Scandinavian Airlines SAS jet hit a Cessna light plane in heavy fog and ploughed into a baggage hangar on Monday.

Most of the victims are believed to have been Italian or Scandinavian.

SAS hotlines for relatives
UK
0845 604 0173
Sweden
00 46 8 797 10 10
00 46 0200 727272
Denmark
00 45 3232 6001
00 45 8024 0101
Norway
00 47 6758 5010
00 47 800 80610
Finland
00 358 800 90200
But the UK Foreign Office said on Wednesday that Briton Natalie Micallef and Jessica King, who held joint British and American citizenship, were among the dead.

A spokeswoman said the two women had been travelling separately.

It is believed they both lived in Copenhagen.

Ms King is thought to have been in her early 30s.

The dead also included 62 Italians, 21 Swedes, 16 Danes, six Finns, three Norwegians and two Germans, officials said.

All passengers and crew on board the SAS jet died in the crash.

Four people on board the Cessna and four ground staff were also killed.

Wrecked plane in front of radar
The ground radar system was not working

Four airport workers were injured in the blaze, at least two seriously. One was said to have suffered 80% burns to 80%.

Relatives of some of the victims flew to Milan on two specially organised SAS flights on Tuesday to help identify the dead of flight SK 686.

Two "black boxes" from the SAS plane have been recovered, and investigators are blaming thick fog and pilot error by the German Cessna crew.

But unions say the disaster could have been prevented if the airport's ground radar system had been working.

Minute's silence

SAS, which described Monday as the worst day in its history, has announced that it will pay an initial $25,000 to the next-of-kin of each victim.

"SAS is doing everything possible to help our passengers' and crews' relatives economically by offering such payments as may be necessary to meet their immediate needs," it said in a statement.

SAS held a minute's silence at 1200BST on Tuesday across its flights and company offices in tribute to the victims.

Silence being observed by SAS workers in Copenhagen
A minute's silence was observed for the victims

Linate airport was closed after the crash, and only reopened at 0600 local time (0400GMT) on Wednesday.

Following the disaster, flights bound for Linate were diverted to Milan's largest airport, Malpensa, and to the nearby city of Bergamo.

The disaster is the worst in Italian aviation history. The previous worst incident was in 1972, when an Alitalia jet crashed into a Sicilian mountain, killing 115 people.

The tragedy - which comes less than a week after a Russian plane plunged into the Black Sea - deals a fresh blow to passenger confidence.

Most European airlines have already been hit by falling passenger numbers in the wake of the 11 September attacks, and two fresh unrelated tragedies will not have helped.

See also:

09 Oct 01 | Europe
Press deplores Milan disaster
08 Oct 01 | Europe
Analysis: Dangers on the ground
08 Oct 01 | Europe
In pictures: Milan runway blaze
09 Oct 01 | Business
Round-up: Aviation in crisis
01 Nov 00 | World
Air disaster timeline
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