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Torino mourns tragedy on 60th anniversary

Torino’s players, coaches and club officials marked the 60th anniversary of the crash that killed one of Italy’s greatest soccer teams with a service at the basilica near where the plane went down.

At 5:05 p.m. on May 4, 1949, the aircraft carrying the Torino team back home from a friendly in Portugal crashed in foggy conditions into a hill near the Superga Basilica overlooking Turin. All 31 people on board were killed, including the 18 players and two coaches.

More than 500,000 people lined the streets on the day of the funerals.

On Monday, Torino’s current players and coaches, along with relatives of the victims, attended a special Mass at the church honoring the dead. Giant screens were erected outside so that those not able to get in could follow the service.

The club never really reached the heights of “Il Grande Torino” and is now struggling at the bottom of Serie A.

At the time of the disaster, Torino was on the brink of its fifth consecutive league title. Two years earlier, Torino had provided 10 players for the Italian national side in a match against Hungary, with only the goalkeeper not playing for the Turin club.