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Fire could be cause of plane crash into Italian skyscraper

The aircraft slammed into Milan's Pirelli tower


The first elements of the autopsy of the Swiss pilot who crashed into a Milan skyscraper seem to indicate there was a fire on board his light aircraft.

Medical indiscretions revealed by the Italian news agency ANSA on Monday show that strong traces of carbon oxides were found on Luigi-Gino Fasulo's corpse. The 67-year-old pilot may have therefore been battling a fire or smoke inside his cockpit.

Fasulo had apparently not suffered from a heart attack, according to the state prosecutor. "He seems to have died in the crash," said Bruna Albertini.

Further tests are required though to determine whether he fell victim to a stroke, as Fasulo's head injuries do not allow the doctors performing the autopsy to say for sure.

The autopsy was carried out on Monday morning after his wife and his daughter-in-law had identified his remains.

Suicide theory rejected

Officially, the final results of the autopsy are not expected for 60 days at least. "Until all the tests are completed, we can't give a hypothesis, " said Enzo Ronchi, the medical examiner.

The investigation into the cause of the accident is still ongoing. The possible suicide of Fasulo, who had been swindled out SFr2.5 million, had been presented as one possible reason for the crash in recent days.

The pilot's family has however formally denied this to be the case in a press release handed out on Sunday.

The first 11 floors of Milan's Pirelli tower reopened for business on Monday morning, just three days after the crash.

Apart from the pilot, two women were killed by the crash and left dozens of others injured, some seriously. The damage to the tower is estimated to be close to €40 million (SFr59 million.)

swissinfo with agencies

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