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Old 04-18-2002, 12:40 PM   #1
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Plane Crashes Into Milan Skyscraper

MILAN, Italy (CNN) -- A small plane has hit a skyscraper in central Milan, setting the top floors of the 30-storey building on fire and killing at least two people.

Interior Minister Claudio Scajola said it appeared to be an accident. Italian police said the plane was carrying no one but the pilot, and radio reports said he was killed. Italian TV reported two deaths.

Thirty to 40 people from the high tower were hospitalised with injuries, mostly broken arms and legs, a reporter on the scene told CNN.

Several witnesses said they saw flames coming out of the plane before it hit, according to Italian radio.

There was no official word on the number of people injured in the building. Authorities said most of the workers had left before the crash.

The plane, en route from Locarno in Switzerland, to Rome, Italy, smashed into the Pirelli building's 26th floor at 5:50 p.m. (1450 GMT) on Thursday.

There were reports of office workers trapped in the building's elevators and at least 20 injured were taken to hospital from the scene.

The building houses government offices and is next to the city's central train station. Several storeys of the building were engulfed in fire, though this was extinguished by 8:00 p.m. (1700 GMT).

Italian TV showed a huge gaping hole in the side of the Pirelli building with smoke pouring from the opening. There was a hole on the other side of slim skyscraper.

"It was shocking," said Luccheta Antonio, 52, a barber down the block told Reuters. "The windows shook and the mirrors."

Dozens of firefighters are at the scene
"It was a violent explosion," said Stefano Bottazzi, 35, who works in a skyscraper 500 yards from building. "The clock fell to the floor."

TV pictures from the scene evoked horrific memories of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the collapse of the building's twin towers.

Frightened office workers evacuated the building as they feared a collapse of the building like those in New York.

The building is known as the Pirelli building but the Italian tyre and cable company does not operate out of the building.

The Pirelli skyscraper, located near the central train station, is one of the world's tallest concrete buildings. It is about 415 feet high and was designed in the 1950s by architects Gio Ponti and Pier Luigi Nervi. The building is one of the main symbols of Milan, along with the city's cathedral.

Aides informed President George W. Bush of the crash and the White House promised to work with Italian authorities.

"The president, just moments ago, was informed about the incident in Milan," White House spokesman Ari Fleischer told reporters. "I think you can presume that we will be, if we are not already, in touch with Italian authorities."

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was returning to Italy from Bulgaria Thursday to attend a meeting of the country's crisis unit after a small tourist plane hit a high-rise in central Milan, a spokesman said.

Berlusconi was in Bulgaria after a visit to neighbouring Romania.

[This message has been edited by brettig (edited 04-18-2002).]

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Old 04-18-2002, 12:41 PM   #2
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deja vu

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Old 04-18-2002, 03:28 PM   #3
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Old 04-18-2002, 03:34 PM   #4
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Originally posted by CannibalisticArtist:
didn't something like this happen in the US with that kid hitting a building in florida with a cessna?
I did indeed, however I believe that was reported as a suicide rather than malfunction.
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Old 04-19-2002, 12:51 AM   #5
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Originally posted by MSU2mike:
I did indeed, however I believe that was reported as a suicide rather than malfunction.
Yeah, supposedly he wanted to show his support for Osama Bin Ladin.

Don't let the bastards grind you down.

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Old 04-19-2002, 02:41 AM   #6
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didn't something like this happen in the US with that kid hitting a building in florida with a cessna?
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Old 04-19-2002, 02:54 AM   #7
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It was awful, when I saw the pictures I held my breath......forgive me but I kept thinkin it too was going to collapse..

This morning there was more news on really did take myself and just about everyone worldwide no doubt back to Sept 11th...... Eamon Holmes sayin '...and the world held its breath...was this another terrorist attack?'

But the one ting I heard today which has left me feeling very sad this morning was the fact that a cleaner, who was on 2nd floor from top, jumped to her death - apparantly, and God love her, she thought it was another attack.........

thats so sad....

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