****I am sad to announce the passing of my brother, Anthony Grillo on October 21st, 2004. Please keep visiting, being patient with the hopeful continuation of his website. Sincerely, Vivian Grillo****

 

Beatrice Bucci
Newspaper article published in 1981

BOSTON (UPI) - The couple was relaxing in a darkened dining room, engrossed in the movie "Fox Fire" when people started screaming as ashtrays and chairs flew around the room.

"I remember it was near the end of the movie starring Jeff Chandler and Jane Russell," recalled Beatrice Bucci LeClair of Beverly Mass. "I was sitting on an end seat and I grabbed hold of a table that was bolted to the floor. I thought "'This is it."

Mrs. LeClair was returning to the United States from Naples where she had been visiting her brother on a U.S. Navy base. A registered nurse by profession, Mrs. LeClair said filmgoers were jolted as the ship listed suddenly at the time of the crash. The room filled with smoke. Chaos erupted.

"People were screaming and ashtrays were flying." She said. "My first impression was that we were on fire. Although Mrs. LeClair's date tried to pry her from the table she was clinging to, she said "panic" prevented her from moving. "He just ran," she said of her companion whom she never saw again.

Hours later, bewildered adult passengers shinned down ropes to the lifeboats. Mrs. LeClair helped toss babies and children off the boat into blankets held by lifeboat operators.

The years have dulled Mrs. LeClair's memory of the accident, but she said it had a lasting effect on her life. "It made me understand what happens in life, God spared me for something."

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