Commemorating Lost Colleagues from WFP Flight that Crashed in 1999 in Kosovo
On Friday 12 November 1999, just a few months after the establishment of the UN peace-keeping mission in Kosovo, a charter flight plane for the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) – which flew six days per week between Rome and Prishtinë/ Priština – vanished from radar screens at midday. The Search and Rescue team found the crash site later that evening.
19 years later a volunteer group of international citizens working in Kosovo and their local partners, refurbished the commemoration stone with the names of all 24 lost colleagues.
The UN World Food Program chartered ATR 42 (flight KSV 3275) crashed on Mount Piceli, 7 miles NE of Mitrovicë/a, near the Slakovce village, while approaching the Prishtinë/ Priština airport. All 24 people on board, mostly aid-workers, lost their lives. Colleagues from UN, EULEX, KFOR and Kosovo Police paid their respects today at the commemoration plaque near the crash site.
At the commemoration were approximately 60 persons, among them the Deputy Italian Ambassador Matteo Corradini, the Italian Commander of the Italian State Police in EULEX, Vincenzo Giancarlo Cardinale, the KFOR Military Chaplain don. Luca Giuliani, the KFOR Political Advisor Andrea Angeli, the Commander of the Multinational Battle Group West of Peja/Pec Colonel Ruggero Cucchini, Representatives from UNMIK, Fabio Pinzari, from UN Development Coordinator’s Office, Outreach and Advocacy Officer Shpend Qamili, the Captain of MSU Carabinieri, Luca D’Alessandro, IPA Resident Expert, Giuseppe Colasanto, and the PAMECA V Team Leader, Carlo D’Achille from Tirana (at the time of the event, one of the Leaders of the Italian Contingent in UNMIK – Kosovo).
Moreover, there were several Army officers from Alpini di Vipiteno (Italy) and a contingent of The Italian State Police.
During the ceremony among others, the Deputy Italian Ambassador, Matteo Corradini, expressed appreciation for the colleagues whose lives were lost during this tragic event, reminding us all that Kosovo today is a much better and prosperous place due to the hard work and sacrifice made by selfless people.
“Conditions were difficult and much more needs to be done to improve livelihood in Kosovo, and that is the best way to commemorate and honor the life’s lost in the tragic event” he added. The ceremony continued with reading of the names and nationalities of the lost colleagues:
“…ROME, 14:40 hrs — The World Food Programme now confirms that the following passengers were on the WFP-chartered flight, flight KSV3275, that crashed in Kosovo yesterday. There are no survivors.
- Bazzoni, Roberto – Italian, Caritas Sardinia
- Biocca, Paola – Italian, WFP
- Curry, Andrea – Irish, GOAL
- Davoli, Velmore – Italian, Gruppo Volontariato Civile
- Evens, Nicolas Ian Philip – British,Tearfund
- Faisal, Abdulla – Kenya, UNV
- Gavino, Marco – Italian, UNMIK
- Lay, Kevin – British, Tearfund
- Liuzzi, Raffaella – Italian, Boyden
- Martinez-Vasquez, Miguel – Spanish, UNMIK
- Martinez, Jose Maria – Spanish, UNMIK
- Mirshahidul, Alam – Bangladeshi, UNMIK
- Perez Fortes, J. – Spanish UNMIK
- Powell, Richard Walker – Australian, WFP
- Rowan, Daniel – Canadian, Canadian Government
- Samer, Thabit – Iraqi, WFP
- Sarro, Paola – Italian, Terre des hommes
- Scotti, Laura – Italian, AiBi
- Sircana, Antonio – Italian, Caritas Sardinia
- Zecchi, Carlo – Italian, Gruppo Volontariato Civile
- Ziegler, Julia – German, International Crisis Group
- Maccaferro, Andrea – Italian, Air Operator Balmoral
- Canzolino, Antonio – Italian, Air Operator Balmoral
- Piazza, Katia – Italian, Air Operator Balmoral …’.
The Ceremony ended with wreath laying, trumpet playing, and a military and police salute.
Kosovo, November 7, 2018