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How an Air-plane crash killed 23 Manchester United players and staff

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Whether you are a football fan or not, you must have heard about the "Munich air disaster" and how it changed the history of Manchester united forever.

The Munich air disaster occurred on the 6th of February 1958 at exactly 3:04 pm.

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Manchester united had a hectic schedule, with both European and domestic games coming simultaneously. In order not to over-burden their players with travel hardships, the club chartered an Elizabethan aircraft to convey the players back to England after their successful elimination of Red star belgrade in the quarter-finals of the European cup.

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After their successful take-off at Belgrade, the plane stopped to refuel at the Munich Airport, as it was beyond the Elizabethan aircraft fuel guage to fly directly to Manchester without stopping for a refuel. Once they finished refueling, pilots James Thain(captain) and kenneth Rayment(co-pilot) twice disengaged take-off, because of a problem with boost surge in the left engine.

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Thain who was the captain of the aircraft decided against spending the night in Munich and opted for a third attempt at take-off. By then it was snowing heavily, which caused a heep of slushed snow to form towards the end of the runway track. In the course of trying to take off, the Air-plane hit the slush of snow and lost control. It ran over a fence at the end of the runway track, before hitting a house, losing its left wing in the process.

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Thain who somehow miraculously survived the crash, started evacuating passengers from the plane, he was also aided by goalkeeper 'Harry Gregg' who managed to survive too. But, they could only do little, with many already dead before they were evacuated from the Scene of the crash.

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It was reported that out of the 44 aboard the plane, 21 died instantly, while an additional two died later, with the number of survivors standing at 21.

Head coach Matt Busby survived, Legendary English man 'Bobby Charlton' who is the only survivor from that crash still alive till date was also rescued by goalkeeper Harry Gregg. Out of the 23 that didn't survive the crash, 8 were on-field players while the rest were staffs and journalists of the club.

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It remains the darkest day in history of Manchester united as they lost a promising group of young players who were nicknamed " The Busby Babes". The talented group were on the verge of conquering both European and domestic football before the untimely incident.

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Captain Thain who was blamed for the disastrous event by the West German airport authorities was cleared ten years later, after it was confirmed that the airplane crash was solely caused by the slush of snow on the runway and was not a result of his failure to de-ice the aircraft wings as alleged by the airport authorities.

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It took Manchester united ten years to recover from that incident, with Busby gradually rebuilding the team and winning the European cup 10 years later.

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Every year, a memorial ceremony is held by the club in remembrance of the Busby Babes in what would go down as one of the darkest days in history of football.

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May their souls rest in perfect peace. Amen


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Source: opera.com
The views expressed in this article are the writer's, they do not reflect the views of Opera News. Read more>>
Top Comments
GUEST_3MGyLnO1o · 07/24/2020
Very sorry indeed. what a sad moment !
BenjaminMugore_01 · 07/22/2020
Always remember them

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