THE PLANE CRASH OF OLGIATE OLONA (ITALY) OF JUNE 26, 1959

 

website with the patronage of the
Municipality of Olgiate Olona

 

greeting of mayor Montano

 
Welcome!

This website and the spirit that animates it arise from the desire to honor the memory of the plane crash of Olgiate Olona of June 26, 1959 and the seventy immortal lives whose mortal body fell to the ground that day; moreover, this website is intended to build bonds of solidarity with the persons linked by blood, love and friendship to the seventy immortal lives.

 
 
The Quirinale and
the memory of June 26, 1959

 

President of the Italian Republic Giorgio Napolitano (1925-2023) expressed on several occasions his appreciation for the commemorative events of June 26, 1959, that he rewarded with his medal in 2011. In 2019, President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella sent a message of ideal participation to the ceremony of the 60th anniversary, and greeting to the relatives of the seventy immortal lives.

 
Creators and supporters of the commemorative events

Persons, institutions and enterprises share the spirit of the commemorative events inspired to June 26, 1959 and support the commemoration in various ways.

 

 

Commemoration of June 26, 2023

 

 

Commemoration of June 26, 2023

 

Stay updated on the news and the events promoted in memory of June 26, 1959

 

Featured story - February 12, 2024

 

Fourteenth edition of the educational project in memory of June 26, 1959

With the conversation in the classroom titled Olgiate Olona 26 giugno 1959-2024. Settanta vite immortali tra memoria e solidarietà (transl.Olgiate Olona, June 26, 1959-2024. Seventy immortal lives between memory and solidarity) hold by Alberto Colombo on Monday February 19th, Tuesday February 20th and Wednesday February 21st, 2024, the 56 students of classes IIIB (teacher Antonio Ritrovato), IIIC (teacher Stefania Ielpo) and IIID (teacher Stefania Ielpo) will attend the fourteenth edition of the educational project in memory of the plane crash of June 26, 1959, in Dante Alighieri secondary school in Olgiate Olona. After the conversation in the classroom, the students will produce texts that will be sent anonymously to a jury outside the school which will choose five worthy works, best interpreting the historical fact and the spirit that animates the commemorative events.

 

 

 

[featured news archive]

 

Friday June 26, 1959. The town of Olgiate Olona was miraculously saved from a plane crash (the fifth worst disaster of civil Aviation in Italy) which shocked all the world: the Trans World Airlines (TWA) four-engine Lockheed L-1649A Super Constellation Starliner Jetstream (reg. No. N7313C) - flight 891: Athens-Rome-Milan-Paris-Chicago - just taken off from Milan-Malpensa Airport during a storm, was struck by lightning and crashed in flames losing the engines and the rudder; the fuselage with seventy people on board (they were from eight Countries: USA, Italy, United Kingdom, France, Chile, Germany, Egypt, Israel) crashed near Cascina Agnese missing the town for a few dozen of meters. All the people on board perished and the prompt intervention of rescuers was vain. The corpses were recovered on June 27, 1959, and the coffins were brought to the basilica of St. John the Baptist in Busto Arsizio where on June 29, 1959, the funerals were celebrated. The investigation of the Judiciary ended with the dismissal of the case, while the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) confirmed that the breaking up in flight was due to a lightning that ignited the fuel vapors contained in tank No. 7 coming out from the vent outlets.

 

 

The oral tale handed down by eyewitnesses became unlikely and turned into legend. In 2008 Alberto Colombo reconstructed the plane crash in his book Il disastro aereo del 26 giugno 1959 a Olgiate Olona (translation: the plane crash of Olgiate Olona of June 26, 1959) and the memory of the fact came back to life thanks to the initiatives promoted by the Municipal Administration: restoration of the memorial monument, Commemoration of 50th anniversary (2009) with naming of via 26 giugno street, commemorative stone, “Ape” car symbol of solidarity in memory of seventy immortal lives (in operation until January 2016), book Settanta vite immortali. Volume commemorativo 50° anniversario disastro aereo 26 giugno 1959 Olgiate Olona (translation: Seventy immortal lives. Volume commemorating the 50th anniversary of Olgiate Olona plane crash of June 26, 1959); educational project with the students in the eighth grade of Dante Alighieri school of Olgiate Olona started in 2010; in 2011, medal of the President of the Italian Republic Giorgio Napolitano (acknowledgment of the high value of the commemorative events of June 26, 1959) and stone in memory of the 118 victims of Milan-Linate air disaster; in 2013, publication of this website; in 2016, total conservative restoration of the memorial monument; in 2019, message of greeting to the relatives of the seventy immortal lives, and of ideal participation in the 60th anniversary sent by the President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella.

 

Fatality struck seventy lives and tortured only their mortal bodies which fell to the ground: their spirits rose to immortality instead. For the seventy immortal lives of June 26, 1959 is worth what the Bible says: The souls of righteous are in the hands of God and no torment shall touch them anymore (Sap 3,1). The relatives of these righteous have silently and with dignity turned their great sorrow into a gift: for their loved ones, for new generations, for the community. We are not allowed to change the History already happened. What was done in Olgiate Olona so far and what still will be done is only the essential that we are allowed to do: pray, honor the immortal lives and their loved ones by remembering and with acts of solidarity.
Alberto Colombo

 

Messages received


 

December 21, 2023
Best wishes! (...)
Donata

 

December 20, 2023
Wishing each of you a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year! (...)
John

 

December 20, 2023
There is always a light that shines and makes us look positively to the future. This is a beautiful example, how good kids are if they have good life educators (...)
Giorgio

 

December 20, 2023
Thank you! Thank you very much: a warm wish for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! (...)
Giusi

 

December 20, 2023
With all my heart I thank the Teaching Commission for awarding the prize in memory of the seventy immortal lives of June 26, 1959 (...)
Silvana

 

 

 

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