2 More Die From Air Show Crash
President Richard von Weizsaecker on Saturday led mourners in a memorial service for victims of the Ramstein air show disaster, and German officials raised the death toll to 51 after two more West Germans died.
“Pain and sorrow are tearing at the hearts of so many people,” the Rev. Helmut Pflanz told about 400 West German, Italian and American mourners crowded into the Roman Catholic Church of St. Nicholas. The service took place 1 1/2 miles from the U.S. base, where three planes in an Italian aerobatic team collided last Sunday, and one fell into a crowd of spectators and exploded.
Hundreds of people stood in a light rain outside the small brick church before the German-American memorial service, which was broadcast live on nationwide television.
Several relatives of the dead, weeping and wringing their hands, entered the church nearly an hour before the service started.
In addition to Weizsaecker, others attending the service were U.S. Ambassador Richard R. Burt, Gen. William L. Kirk, commander of U.S. air forces in Europe, and Italian Defense Minister Valerio Zanone.