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The Cavalese cable car disaster of 1998, also called the Strage del Cermis ("Massacre at Cermis") occurred on 3 February 1998, near the Italian town of Cavalese, a ski resort in the Dolomites some 40 km (25 mi) northeast of Trento. Twenty people died when a United States Marine Corps EA-6B Prowler aircraft, while flying lower than regulations allowed in order for the pilots to "have fun" and "take videos of the scenery", cut a cable supporting a gondola of an aerial tramway, causing it to plunge 260 feet to the ground. Joseph Schweitzer, one of the American aircrew, confessed in 2012 that upon return to the American base, he burned the tape that contained incriminating evidence. The pilot, Captain Richard J. Ashby, and his navigator, Captain Joseph Schweitzer, were put on trial in the United States and were found not guilty of involuntary manslaughter and negligent homicide. Later they were found guilty of obstruction of justice and conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman for having destroyed a videotape recorded from the plane and were dismissed from the Marine Corps. The disaster, and the subsequent acquittal of the pilots, strained relations between the United States and Italy.