Crash site Rome/Fiumicino airport, Italy
Airline SAS (Scandinavian Airlines System)
Aircraft Douglas DC-8  –  SE-DBE  –  Anund Viking
Route Tokyo – Bangkok – Teheran  –  Rome  –   Zürich  –  Copenhagen  –  Stockholm
Crew 11  –  11 survivors
Passengers 54  –  54 survivors


The crash

Early Sunday morning at 05:45 the plane was ready for takeoff.  After rolling 50 meters a failure in one of the engines caused an explosion. One of the fuel tanks got damaged and the leaking fuel caught fire. The crew and all the passengers escaped from the plane – some with minor injuries. The plane completely burned out mainly because it took the firetrucks 12 minutes to arrive.


The mail

Onboard the plane was mail from Asia destined for Europ and the United States. Due to the fierce fire most of the mail was pretty damaged.
The recovered mail was handed over to the Italian Post for further processing. This took quite a while as the forwarded mail arrived at the destinations mostly in late June and even as late as September 1970.

I have recorded 11 items addressed to the Nordic countries:

From  To Denmark To Norway To Sweden
Iran     2
Philippines 2   5
Thailand   1 3

Apart from these items mail is also known addressed to Germany, Switzerland and United States.


Danish explanatory letter.
Size: 297 x 210 mm.














Danish service cover.
Glassine with red printing.
Size:  230 x 148 mm.
Type J 6 (6-66).









Swedish label.
Size textblock:  125 x 15 mm.
Printed on A4-size paper and often cut into smaller size.

The attached item has unfortunately been damaged when a SAS plane on April 19, 1970 burned up at the airport in Rome.
Postal Complaints Office


Swedish service cover.
Glassine with black printing.
Size:  248 x 178 mm.
Type Bl2261.07 (April 66)J 6 (6-66).

The cover is neutral except for the type number printed on the backside – see two images below.






Examples of mail


Cover from Manila, Philippines with illegible postmark addressed to Denmark. The cover was forwarded to the recipient with the Danish explanatory letter type A + sercvice cover type B. The enclosed letter has an arrival datestamp of 1 July 1970.
Thiesen Collection.

Much charred cover from Thailand postmarked BANGKOK 17 IV 70 and addressed to Oslo, Norway. The remains of the cover was forwarded to the recipient in a Norwegian service cover postmarked OSLO BREV 18 16-9-90. The cover also show two manuscript notes referring to the accident.
Thiesen Collection.

Postcard from Iran with illegible postmark addressed to Tygelsjö, Sweden. Swedish crash label type C.
Thiesen Collection.


Cover from Philippines with unclear postmark dated  APR 14 1970 and addressed to Hälsingborg, Sweden. The cover was forwarded with crash label type C in a Swedish service cover type D with postmark of STOCKHOLM 27   23.6.70.
Thiesen Collection.

Cover from Bangkok, Thailand to Jönköping, Sweden with illegible postmark as stamps were washed off. Forwarded with crash label type C in Swedish service cover type D with small handstamp 24 JUNI 1970.
Thiesen Collection.

Cover from Iran postmarked TEHRAN with no visible date and addressed to Sweden. Forwarded to the recipient with Swedish crash label type C. Note arrival handstamp 24 June 1970 – more than 2 months after the accident.
Ekenstierna Collection.

Postcard from Thailand postmarked BANGKOK 17.4.70 addressed to Sweden. Forwarded with Swedish crash label type C.


Registered cover from Thailand with metermark BANGKOK 18 IV 70 to Sweden. Forwarded with Swedish crash label type C.
Arveng Collection.