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Thursday, January 21, 1999 Published at 17:35 GMT


Four dead after mid-air collision

Wreckage lies scattered 'like confetti'

Four people have died after an RAF jet and a light aircraft collided above the village of Everton in north Nottinghamshire.

The BBC's John Thorne: "Villagers saw the accident as it happened"
The jet was a Tornado GR1 from RAF Cottesmore, Rutland, with two crew on board. One airman died instantly and the other managed to eject but died later of his injuries.

Both men in the Cessna light aircraft were killed. One has been named as Matteo Di Carlo, a 25-year-old Italian student pilot-officer.

Wing Commander Crispin Edmonds: "The Tornado was on a routine training mission"
The two crew from the Tornado were an RAF instructor and an Italian student pilot from the Italian air force, the RAF said.

Wing Commander Crispin Edmonds, the acting station commander at RAF Cottesmore, said an RAF Board of Inquiry had been set up.

Crash investigators are travelling to the scene of the accident, which happened just after 11.30am.

The Tornado was on a routine training mission when it crashed and the precise reason for the accident is unclear.

"Flames shot out of back of jet"

[ image: Cessna crashed close to school]
Cessna crashed close to school
Wreckage was scattered over a large area, with the Cessna light aircraft crashing close to a school.

The Cessna was circling when the Tornado bomber suddenly appeared hitting, with an eyewitness describing wreckage as falling like confetti.

Another witness saw the Tornado on fire breaking up, with one crewman ejecting before the plane crashed in a huge fireball.

David Storer of the Nottinghamshire police: "The wreckage is spread over several fields"
The area is regularly used by RAF fast jets, although in almost all areas civil and military are entitled to used the same airspace.

Eyewitness Beryl Peck was driving with her sister Marjorie when she saw the planes collide above her.

The 70-year-old said: "I heard this plane coming over and then I heard a bang and looked up to see flames shooting out of the back of the jet.

"The plane appeared to be breaking up and I saw an airman eject and parachute to the ground. The jet then disappeared behind some woods in a fireball before there was a massive explosion."

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