42 Years ago today: On 27 June 1980 an Itavia McDonnell Douglas DC- 9-15 crashed off Ustica; killing all 81 occupants.

Date:Friday 27 June 1980
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC91 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas DC-9-15
Operator:Aerolinee Itavia
First flight:1966
Total airframe hrs:29544
Engines:Pratt & Whitney JT8D-7
Crew:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Passengers:Fatalities: 77 / Occupants: 77
Total:Fatalities: 81 / Occupants: 81
Aircraft damage:Destroyed
Aircraft fate:Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:25 km (15.6 mls) NE off Ustica, Italy [Tyrrhenian Sea] (   Mediterranean Sea)
Phase:En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Bologna-Borgo Panigale Airport (BLQ/LIPE), Italy
Destination airport:Palermo-Punta Raisi Airport (PMO/LICJ), Italy

Itavia flight 870 departed Bologna (BLQ) at 20:08 on a domestic flight to Palermo (PMO). The DC-9 was en route over the Tyrrhenian Sea at an altitude of about 24000 feet when an explosion occurred. Extensive structural damage caused the plane to break up. Most of the wreckage sank to a depth of some 3500 metres.
The cause of the accident has never been officially established. In the years following the accident many theories were suggested. Some theories cantered around the fact that the DC-9 may have accidentally been shot down by NATO fighters. Either during an exercise involving Italian, U.S., and French jet fighters, or during a dog fight involving Libyan, U.S., French and Italian Air Force fighters in the area.
It has also been suggested that explosive device detonated in the rear (starboard) toilet.