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The actual cause of the plane crash is not revealed. However, the reason the boys were on the plane to begin with was because they were being evacuated from a nuclear war in Europe. This parallels with the evacuations of children from London during World War II. The irony this time is that a nuclear holocaust is almost impossible to escape. The boys keep wanting to go home to a place that has most likely been annihilated and conditions at home may be just as primitive as those on the island.
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