Zlaté Piesky lake is giving up the last pieces of a crashed plane

The air crash in 1976 was one of the biggest air disasters to occur in the former Czechoslovakia.

Recovered remains of the crashed IL-18 plane.Recovered remains of the crashed IL-18 plane. (Source: TASR)
Lost in Bratislava? Impossible with this City Guide! Lost in Bratislava? Impossible with this City Guide!

The planned aviation museum that is to open in an unused hall in Dúbravka should have some interesting exhibits to display. These may include the remains of the IL-18 plane that crashed on July 28, 1976 in Zlaté Piesky lake on the outskirts of Bratislava. After almost 44 years, divers from the DIR-Team Slovensko were able to retrieve pieces of the plane on Sunday, March 8, the TASR newswire reported.

Andrej Gašpar discovered the remains while he was snorkelling in the lake last summer.

“There are the remains of the fuselage and the interior, maybe pieces of a wheel and the chassis,” Peter Kubička from the DIR-Team Slovensko and member of the worldwide association Unified Team Diving (UTD) told the TASR newswire.

All the pieces will be cleaned and preserved so that they can be exhibited.

The divers invited the survivors of the air crash, eye witnesses and rescuers to the Sunday event.

Burned and buried

Based on the information available so far, all the pieces of the crashed plane that were rescued from the lake were destroyed after the investigation was over. Much of it would have been burned by the army and then buried in pits somewhere on the premises of the M. R. Štefánik Airport in Bratislava.

“A member of one aviation club has a lump of once molten metal taken by one of the witnesses of the disaster,” said Kubička.

There are also some remains of the plane, retained by those who pulled them from the bottom of the lake for private collections. These include a piece of the fuselage, a life jacket and a dining trolley.

The last time remains of the plane were taken from the lake was in 2000, but their fate is unknown, so the remains pulled out on Sunday will be the only ones that the general public can see.

The crash

Related articleWhere to swim in Bratislava? Enjoy summer at Zlaté Piesky Read more 

On July 28, 1976, a Czechoslovak Airlines plane, flying from Prague to Bratislava, crashed into the lake after a failed landing attempt at the nearby airport in Ivanka Pri Dunaji. Unfortunately, the plane struck the deep part of the lake, meaning that most passengers actually drowned. Of 79 passengers and staff, only four survived. The people who were at the beach at the time of the crash and those who had arrived from the nearby airport took boats and tore holes into the rear part of the plane that was jutting up from the water to help people escape but one of those rescued died in the hospital due to injuries.

The state put the crash as well as the investigation information under an embargo and the Zlaté Piesky resort remained closed for some years.

Related articleBratislava travel guide: Lost in Bratislava? Impossible with this City Guide! Read more 

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