Pilot Who Stopped to Pray During Crash Is Sentenced

A pilot from Tunisia who paused to pray rather than follow emergency procedures when his plane was crashing has been sentenced to 10 years in jail, Reuters reported Wednesday.

An Italian court sentenced the flier and his co-pilot for the 2005 crash off the coast of Sicily that left 16 people dead. A fuel-gauge malfunction sparked the crash, but in a state of panic the pilot prayed out loud rather than taking measures to save passengers or attempting to make it to a nearby airport.

In the verdict handed down Monday, five other employees of a Tunisair subsidiary were sentenced to five to nine years in jail.

The crash, which splintered the ATR turbo-prop plane, left survivors stranded at sea clinging to pieces of the fuselage.

Click here to read the full Reuters report.