Sunday, May 16, 2004

Disaster!

Chicago's various disasters.
May 25, 1979: It remains the deadliest U.S. crash in the history of aviation -- 273 killed. American Airlines Flight 191 lost its left-wing engine on takeoff from O'Hare, banked sideways out of control, slammed into a field and exploded. Everybody on board and two people on the ground were killed; the plane itself virtually disintegrated. It had taken off on a sunny day, shortly after 3 p.m. Soonafter, its tail dropped and its silver nose pointed skyward. Seconds later, a controller in the O'Hare tower shouted, "Look at that! Look at that! He blew an engine!" The plane plowed into a grassy area about a half mile northwest of the runway. In the wake of the crash, more than 200 lawsuits were filed, and an estimated $70 million in damages was paid out by American and the aircraft's maker, McDonnell Douglas.
I remember seeing the plume of smoke from this- we were in the car on the way somewhere.

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