An airplane crash in Munich on February 6, 1958 claimed the lives of 23 including eight players of European football club Manchester United, staff members and journalists. Today, the world observes the 64th anniversary of the tragedy. 

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Dubbed as the Busby Babes for their sporting success, the team was returning back to Manchester from a European Cup tie in Belgrade when their British European Airways plane halted in Munich. The aircraft, after refuelling, couldn’t take off due to some issue with the engine. It was snowing heavily. 

Eager to keep the flight on schedule, a third take off attempt was made. But the plane couldn’t speed up due to a thick carpet of snow on the runway. Hence, it skidded and crashed in the fence surrounding the airport and into a house nearby.

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The plane and house caught fire before exploding. 

Twenty passengers were killed immediately. Three died later in the hospital. 

Some players like Bobby Charlton, Dennis Viollet and goalkeeper Harry Gregg were among those saved. The pilot James Thain survived but co-pilot Captain Kenneth Rayment died from his injuries five weeks later.

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Manchester United players

Geoff Bent

Roger Byrne

Eddie Colman

Duncan Edwards

Mark Jones

David Pegg

Tommy Taylor

Liam “Billy” Whelan

Manchester United staff

Walter Crickmer – club secretary

Tom Curry – trainer

Bert Whalley – chief coach


Captain Kenneth Rayment

Tom Cable


Alf Clarke

Donny Davies

George Follows

Tom Jackson

Archie Ledbrooke

Henry Rose

Frank Swift

Eric Thompson

Other passengers

Bela Miklos

Willie Satinoff