Egyptian Desert, Italian Plane Crashes, Aug 1935


Cabinet Aide and Explorer
Among Victims of Wreck
in Egyptian Desert

ROME, Aug. 8 — Seven Italians,
including a Cabinet Minister and a
famous explorer, were killed last
night in an airplane crash on the
Egyptian desert while on an inspection
flight to Eritrea.
Three passengers and four members
of the crew of the commercial
plane met death in the disaster,
which did not become known until
today because the scene was far
from any habitation.
They included Luigi Razza, 43,
Minister of Public Works, who had
made a brilliant rise to become one
of Premier Mussolini's chief lieutenants,
and Baron Raimondo
Franchetti, 46, the explorer.
(A London dispatch said Vicenzo
Minasi, an Italian Consul, and
Major Raffaele Boetani, the pilot,
were also among the victims.)
Concern over the failure of the
plane to arrive at Massawa, Eritrea,
led to a search for it by British
Royal Air Force pilots. The wreckage
was finally found.
Mr. Razza's mission in Africa, the
Propaganda Ministry said, was connected
entirely with civil works. It
was believed he was on a tour of
inspection of air-line and air-travel
facilities in connection with the establishment
of commercial flying
service to Italy's East African colonies.

Razza Close to Premier

Mr. Razza was one of Mussolini's
young men brought to the forefront
by a recent order of II Duce's,
"changing the guard" of Italian
administrators. He was made Minister
of Public Works on Jan. 24,
1935. Previously he had served as
a Parliamentary Deputy from Valentia
and was a journalist who
had served time on Mussolini's
Popolo d'ltalia and numerous other
newspapers. While a youth he became
a Fascist and participated in
the famous march on Rome.
Baron Franchetti was an authority
on Africa and Ethiopia,
where he had made many expeditions.
He had also visited the Malay
Islands, Indo-Chlna and Annam.
Another victim was reported to
be Colonel Minasi of the Fascist
Militia, who was traveling as an
aide to Mr. Razza.
An official communique tonight
said the plane, designed for use in
the civil service in East Africa,
took off from Rome Tuesday, arrived
at Cairo on the same afternoon,
and continued toward Massawa
yesterday morning in "excellent
atmospheric conditions."
The last message received from
the craft, according to the announcement,
was a t 5:31 A. M. yesterday,
saying: "Left Cairo at 5:20
in the direction of Massawa. All
aboard well."
The wreckage and the bodies
were found directly on the Cairo-
Asmara air route.
General Alda Pellegrini, Director
of Civil Aviation, left by plane for
Cairo with several technicians to
institute an inquiry.

Aug. 9, 1935 edition of The New York Times