July 29, 1955

EL AL AIRCRAFT SHOT DOWN: The text of an official communique issued in Sofia following the shooting down of an El Al aircraft in Bulgaria is as follows: «Yesterday, July 27, at about 7.35 a.m., an Israeli passenger aircraft that had gone off course entered Bulgarian air space without warning near the town of Trin. It flew over the town of Stanke Dimitrov, the town of Blagevgrad and headed south toward Petrici. Bulgaria’s anti-aircraft defense, which could not discern the origin of the aircraft, issued repeated warnings in accordance with regulations and then opened fire. The aircraft crashed north of the Bulgarian town of Petrici. All the lives of those aboard were lost. The Bulgarian government and the entire Bulgarian public express their deepest sorrow at the disaster. (…)» According to the latest reports, among the passengers on the aircraft were 12 Americans, 11 Israelis, six French nationals, five Russians, four South Africans, three Britons, three Canadians, three Germans, one Austrian, one Polish refugee and a woman believed to have been British or Swedish. The crew consisted of one Briton, one South African and five Israelis.

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