He stayed at the top for a couple of minutes. Then the breakdown, the descent, the crash on a building under construction a few meters from the terminus of the San Donato metro, south-eastern outskirts of Milan. The eight people on board had no escape: at least six tourists, including a child, the Romanian pilot and another crew member. A macabre irony of fate dies on the corner of via Marignano and via 8 ottobre 2001, a road named after the Linate air tragedy, the most serious of our civil aviation. The victims are three Romanians, two Italians, two French, a Canadian: these are the nationalities.
At the helm of the plane one of the richest men in Romania, Dan Petrescu, who is also the owner. He was 68, dual citizens of Germany and Romania, and was a major investor in the real estate sector, one of the richest men in the country. Together with him, his wife, his thirty-year-old son and five other people, including an Italian (See: Who are the victims).
“A devastating impact, we are verifying the static nature of the structure”, explains Carlo Cardinali, an officer of the fire brigade, while San Donato is filled with dozens of emergency vehicles of all kinds. ANSV, the National Flight Safety Agency, has opened a safety investigation and ordered the dispatch of an investigator to the site. On the accident “a dossier for culpable disaster will be opened”: explains the deputy prosecutor Tiziana Siciliano after the first findings on the scene of the accident. Siciliano also says that the black box was found. “At 50 meters there is the subway stop. Speaking of luck when there is a disaster frankly seems a bit excessive, but let’s say that there were points where, perhaps, it could have had more dramatic consequences”.
Plane crashed in Milan with eight victims: the Swiss-made single-engine aircraft left Linate towards Olbia
by Gianluca Di Feo
03 October 2021
“I saw the plane swoop down and then crash there.” Andrea, 19, witnessed the disaster live. “A powerful bang, and then pieces of iron all over the place. I got scared, I called my friends.” Pilatus PC 12 had taken off at 13.03, bound for Olbia. The problems started immediately, like the pilot’s desperate maneuvers to avoid crashing. The plane hit a building under construction, ten meters from the subway parking lot, about a hundred from the railway tracks. The first call to 112 is at 13.09. “That is a bus station”, explains Michele Pugliese, construction manager who arrived on site, “with a guesthouse and a bar. Tomorrow there would be the workers”. Instead, the skeleton of the building is empty.
Plane crashed in Milan, the witness: “I saw it come down, it crashed into the building and exploded. Flames everywhere”
by Simone Bianchin
03 October 2021
Ambulances, firefighters, police, carabinieri arrive. The poor remains are scattered over a radius of a hundred meters. Including those of the child, who would be added to the last one along with another person. We work to give a certain identity to the victims. In addition to the pm, the mayor Beppe Sala and the mayor of San Donato Andrea Checchi also arrive on the spot.
The aircraft fell on an empty building under renovation, used as offices and parking for buses. The inhabitants of the area heard a very loud hiss and then an explosion, caused by the impact of the plane. The flames immediately engulfed the two-storey building, a few steps from the Eni headquarters in San Donato and the terminus of the yellow subway in Milan. “The plane had a burning engine and it swooped down, no maneuvers were seen, but it just crashed”, so no witnesses. The parking lot next door, Atm says, was closed as a precaution but there are no injuries or damage inside.
Plane crashed in San Donato Milanese: live images
The trajectory of the crashed plane: a turn and something happens to the engine
After take-off (yellow stroke indicates regular course) it makes a first turn to the right and then a second turn to the right (green stroke, regular maneuvers). Then something happens to the engine (Pratt & Whitney PT6, single turboprop engine) which according to a witness is on fire. The pilot tries to reenter and extends the right turn to return to the airport, but he probably did not make it due to the failure, it seems without reporting the anomaly to the control tower. After passing the track, it falls on the facade of the building fortunately uninhabited and under renovation, where it crashes and explodes. Only one of the eight bodies of the victims who were aboard the plane-taxi was recovered, and a French document was found.
San Donato Milanese, plane crashes into a parking lot with eight people on board: the testimonies
Plane crashed in Milan, the traffic situation and Linate
Closed roads and isolated area around via Marignano. While the M3 subway line works regularly, which terminates in San Donato near the accident site. People can only use a few exits though. On the other hand, the maxi multi-storey car park, also owned by Atm and used by commuters as a correspondence hub to leave the car at the gates of Milan and take the subway, is closed as a precaution: there are no injuries. The parking garage next to the building under construction goes up in flames, but was spared from the impact. As it was Sunday, it was even less full than usual.
Also closed, but only for ten minutes, the Linate airport from which the aircraft had departed a few minutes earlier from the terminal reserved for private flights of the Forlanini, bound for Olbia, in Sardinia. Airport sources report that immediately after the crash, shortly after 13, he was stopped for about 10 minutes on the recommendation of ENAV, to understand what had happened and the impact of the accident on air traffic. The airport’s activities then resumed regularly.