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Finnish Envoy And Wife Die In Flash Flood

October 27, 1987

RABAT, Morocco (AP) _ Finland’s ambassador to Spain and Morocco and his wife were swept to their deaths in a flash flood while driving in the High Atlas mountains, the Finnish Embassy said today.

Carolus Lassila was 65 and his wife Beritta was 64, embassy officials said.

The couple was driving alone across the mountains from Ouarzazate to Taznakht, about 250 miles south of Rabat, in a heavy rainstorm late Sunday night, the embassy said.

While crossing a ford over a seasonal mountain stream, their car was swept away, the embassy said.

Residents recovered the bodies Monday. The embassy said they would be flown to Finland for burial.

Lassila had been accredited as ambassador to Spain and Morocco since 1984, and lived in Madrid.

He was a career diplomat with extensive experience in the Arab world. From 1968 to 1980, he served as ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates before taking a post in the foreign ministry.

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