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Italy Plane Crash Deemed Deliberate - 2002-04-20

The crash of a small plane into a Milan skyscraper is now thought to have been deliberate. Italian investigators have reason to believe the pilot committed suicide because he had financial problems. Italian investigators are now leaning toward the theory that the pilot of the small plane that rammed into the Pirelli tower in Milan committed suicide. He is now known to have been in deep financial trouble.

According to news reports in Italian papers, 67-year-old Luigi Fasulo had loaned a business associate over $1.5 million. The money was not repaid and police said he was desperate. The man has now been arrested by police in France and is being held for questioning.

The first reaction of Mr. Fasulo's son after he heard about the crash was that his father had taken his life. Police are investigating further into his life to shed light on whether the man did indeed commit suicide.

Mr. Fasulo was an experienced pilot. While many times he left Locarno in Switzerland to go to Milan for fuel where it is cheaper, this time he left with a full tank. Investigators said this could be an indication that he may have planned to crash into the tower all along.

Mr. Fasulo flew his small plane into the Pirelli tower Thursday afternoon killing himself and two regional government lawyers. The incident had immediately raised fears of a new terror attack like the one against New York's twin towers on September 11. But Italian authorities were soon able to rule out terrorism as the cause for the crash.