State must pay €5.6m to plane crash relatives

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Authorities bring the tail of the Itavia DC-9 to the port of Naples on 29th June 1980, two days after the jet crashed near the island of Ustica. Photo: STF/UPI/AFP
17:25 CEST+02:00
The Italian government has been told to pay over €5 million in damages to the relatives of six people who died in a mysterious plane crash near the Sicilian Island of Ustica in 1980.

Italy’s Supreme Court last year ruled that there was "abundantly clear evidence" that the Itavia airlines jet, which had been travelling from Bologna to Palermo, was hit by a stray missile and that Italian radar systems had failed to adequately protect the skies.

The plane disappeared from the radar as it began to make its descent into Palermo.

It crashed into the Tyrrhenian Sea between the islands of Ustica and Ponza, killing all 81 people on board.

The cause of the crash had long been shrouded in mystery, with one theory being that it was caught in an aerial dogfight between a Nato aircraft and Libyan jet.

Others believed the cause of the crash was covered up for security or military reasons.

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A judge in Palermo has now ordered the ministries of defence and transport to pay a total of €5,637,199 in damages to 14 relatives of six of the victims, Ansa reported.

The Italian airline company went bankrupt shortly after the tragedy.

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