October 30, 1959

PLANE CRASH: Residents of Avlona, who arrived at the scene where a Dakota passenger aircraft, Olympic Airways flight 215, had crashed yesterday afternoon, were confronted by the sight of bodies, parts of the fuselage and flames. None of the 15 passengers and three crew members survived. The aircraft had taken off at 5.15 p.m. from Athens en route to Thessaloniki. After three minutes, the pilot signaled that all was well. At 5.25 p.m., he failed to make a scheduled call to the Tanagra airfield to confirm his course. As concern mounted, the residents of Avlona reported hearing one or two explosions as the plane passed overhead. Eyewitnesses saw a wing break off the aircraft and further split into two pieces, as the aircraft plummeted to the ground. Pieces of the wing were found in fields 200 meters southwest of Avlona, 8 kilometers from the rest of the plane, most of which was found at an altitude of about 700 meters on Mt Parnitha, spread over about a mile. An airline technician who arrived on the scene attributed the accident to an explosion in the aircraft’s fuel tank. Another technician said the mishap could have been caused by an explosion in the engine. At the time of the crash, strong winds were blowing in the area.