PROPELLER FROM 1980 PLANE CRASH FOUND IN AMERICAN SAMOA

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PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (September 28, 1998 - PACNEWS/Amy)--- Construction workers in American Samoa have uncovered a large portion of a propeller from a United States Navy plane that crashed into the Rainmaker Hotel in 1980.

The accident killed all six people on board and one hotel occupant.

The aircraft was transporting parachuters to a show commemorating the annual Flag Day holiday when the plane hit low cable car wires and crashed into the western wing of the hotel. The entire beach wing of the territory's only hotel was destroyed.

According to Kaleolani Purcell of Island Builders, employees were digging in the west side parking lot of the Rainmaker Hotel to lay underground power lines when they struck a hard object; a propeller with U.S. navy markings. They discovered several other pieces of metal, believed to have come from the ill fated plane.

The accident, investigated by the U.S. Navy, found that the pilot was unfamiliar with the harbor area and did not know about the low-lying cable car wires.

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