Family members desperately searched for loved ones missing after a fiery air show crash that killed 49 people. Injured children lay unclaimed in hospitals as officials tried to determine if their parents were among the dead.
By late Tuesday, only 11 spectators who died in Sunday's disaster had been identified, and officials said that of the 282 people still hospitalized, 20 to 30 might not survive.Scores of people were badly burned when three of 10 jets in an Italian air force stunt team collided and one careened into the crowd at the annual air show at the U.S. Air Force base in Ramstein.
The pilots of the three jets were killed, and the Italian air force official who coordinated the team's stunts said one caused the crash by flying into an intersecting maneuver at the wrong altitude and speed.
It was that pilot's jet, having crossed solo through two passing formations, that tumbled into the crowd.
Opposition to military air shows has mushroomed. NATO allies suspended future air shows as they tried to figure out how to make them safer. Many West Germans - including some of those injured Sunday - demanded the shows be banned.
"Now I take warnings about the dangers of air shows seriously. I didn't before," said Karl Eggenweiler of Rothenberg-am-Neckar, whose back and arms were severely burned and who will likely be scarred for life.
"Now I think these shows should be forbidden," he said from his bed at Kaiserslautern hospital near Ramstein.
The nationalities of the identified victims was unclear.
Chief Pentagon spokesman Dan Howard said six Americans were known to be among those killed.
But Juergen Dietzen, government spokesman for Rhineland Palatinate state, said none of the 14 were American. He said most were West German and two were children.
Dietzen said police received scores of reports of missing people following the crash.
"There are even cases of people from as far away as America who have said `my relative has been on vacation there for three weeks, and we haven't heard a word. Is it possible they were at Ramstein?'," he said.
West Germany's ARD television showed pictures of a special missing persons bureau set up after the disaster in the nearby town of Kaiserslautern.
"I'm looking for my sister," said one unidentified German man. "The whole family didn't come home."