February 3, 1998: 20 die as US warplane hits cable car in Italy.
Summary: Today in History: February 3, 1998: 20 die as US warplane hits cable car in Italy
Image Credit: Abdul Kareem, Head of Archive
20 die as US warplane hits cable car in Italy
1998 - Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi said "tragic recklessness" caused the deaths of 20 holidaymakers in a cable car in the Dolomite mountains when a low-flying US warplane hit overhead wires. "It was a terrible act. It (the plane) was flying virtually at ground level," a sombre Prodi said as he visited the northeast Italian ski town of Cavalese. Some leftists have called for the status of US military bases in Italy to be re-negotiated. The holidaymakers were killed when their cable car crashed 200 metres on to a mountainside near Cavalese, 50km north of Trento in the Dolomites. Italian Defence Minister Beniamino Andreatta said the plane was contravening flying rules during its training mission. "There is clear responsibility on the part of the pilot," he said.
1830 - Greece is declared independent under protection of France, Russia and Britain.
1867 - Meiji becomes Emperor of Japan.
1931 - Earthquake kills 256 people in Hawks Bay, New Zealand.
1959 - A plane crashes near Clear Lake, Iowa, killing rock-and-roll stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. Richardson.
1966 - Unmanned Soviet spaceship Luna 9 makes soft landing on the Moon and begins sending signals back to Earth.
1969 - Dr Eduardo Mondlane, president of Mozambique National Liberation Front, is killed by a time-bomb in Tanzania.
1973 - Fighting in Vietnam comes to a halt after US and North Vietnam's ceasefire goes into effect.
1984 - An infertile woman in a California hospital becomes what is believed to be the world's first to give birth to baby from donated embryo.
1986 - Oscar Arias is elected President of Costa Rica.
1989 - In Paraguay, top military commander seizes power in a coup following a night of fighting.
1992 - Avalanches kill at least 178 people in seven mountain villages in southeast Turkey.
1994 - US lifts the 19-year trade embargo against Vietnam.
1995 - Space shuttle Discovery blasts off with a woman in the pilot's seat for the first time.
1996 - An earthquake ravages Lijiang, China, killing at least 210 people.
2005 - A cargo plane carrying goods from Sharjah crashes shortly before landing at Khartoum International Airport, killing nine people.
2006 - Hundreds die as Egyptian ferry carrying about 1,400 people sinks in the Red Sea.
2007 - A suicide truck bomber strikes a market in a predominantly Shiite area of Baghdad, killing 137 people.
2013 - India approves death sentence for sexual violence against women, including rape that leads to death of the victim.
2015 - The UAE is named the world's largest donor of official development assistance.
2016 - Qasr Al Hisn festival opens in Abu Dhabi.
2017 - US imposes fresh sanctions on Iran after it tests a ballistic missile.
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