Missile Caused 1980 Plane Crash, Italian Court Finds

After more than 30 years of ambiguity, an Italian court ruled yesterday that a missile most likely caused a 1980 plane crash that was an historic aviation disaster in Italy and for which no definitive cause had ever been settled upon.

The missile was deemed the cause of the 1980 plane crash during which a passenger plane “broke up” over Sicily, killing 81 people that June. Since the 1980 plane crash, Italians have been very divided over the disaster’s cause, and the case has sparked decades of intrigue and allegations of a coverup.

According to Reuters UK, before the official report deemed a missile had caused the 1980 plane crash, Italy had long questioned the event as well as subsequent investigations and explanations into the aviation tragedy:

“Most Italians believe the cause of the crash, which has been the subject of a film and numerous books, was covered up for security or military reasons … During investigations, documents disappeared and air traffic voice recordings were found to have either been erased or tampered with …”

The site continues:

“In 2007, an appeals court upheld an acquittal handed down in 2004 of two former air force generals who had been accused of giving false information about the disaster.”

Missile caused 1980 plane crash

This week, the Italian court declared that there were “ample and congruent” indications a missile caused the 1980 plane crash, and it was further ordered that “the state must pay damages to the victims’ families because the safety of the passengers had not been guaranteed.”

Before the missile caused the 1980 plane crash, the Itavia DC-9 had been scheduled to travel from Bologna to Palermo, and the craft was hit near the island of Ustica.