1958, Nov. 03– It was just after dusk when a farmer knocked on Riccardo Bonelli’s door. Bonelli was the president of the Agrarian community of Roccatamburo, a hamlet of Poggiodomo amidst the Valnerina mountains. “A plane has just crashed”, he said in an excited voice,”they’re all dead!”. The Agrarian community had one of the few phones in the area and Bonelli gave the alarm calling the Carabinieri in Norcia, and giving them directions to the disaster zone: Fonte di Peccolle. The rescuers found the remains of the plane, 8 bodies and baggage and a few bags spread all around. Four of the bodies were those of the crew members while the remaining four were those of the passengers still on the plane.
The plane had taken off from Cairo and stopped over in Athens and then Rome. The passengers were two Rumanians and twoYemenis. Two crew members were also Yemenis while the pilot and the hostess were Yugoslavian. The plane bore the insignia of the Yemeni national airline. It was a DC3, twin engine, better known as a Dakota, at that time considered to be one of the best planes in service. It had just taken off ten minutes before from Ciampino, destination Belgrade. After only a few minutes the Control Tower had lost radio contact and launched the alarm. Then the phone call from the Perugia carabinieri. The cause of the accident remains unknown. “I saw it come out from the clouds, it was flying low, one of the engines was on fire, the suddenly it exploded”, said an eyewitness.