New York City No Stranger To Air Disasters
11/12/2001 03:08 PM
Sadly, Monday's disaster in the Rockaways is only the latest air accident to affect the New York City area.
Copyright © 2008 NY1 News
Apart from the September 11 terrorist attacks in which two hijacked planes crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center, the worst air accident in New York City prior to Monday was the crash of TWA Flight 800 in July of 1996.
All 230 people on board were killed when the fully-loaded 747 jetliner en route to Paris, France, exploded in midair off the coast of eastern Long Island.
A sweeping investigation into the crash went on for years before investigators concluded that faulty wiring ignited fuel vapor inside the jet's fuel tanks.
Two years later, in March of 1998, Swissair Flight 111 left Kennedy Airport and later crashed off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada. All 229 people on board that plane were killed, including several New Yorkers.
A year and a half later, Egypt Air Flight 990 crashed off the coast of Nantucket Island shortly after departing JFK Airport, killing all 217 passengers and crew.
The cause of that crash remains clouded in controversy. Federal investigators concluded that one of the plane's co-pilots intentionally crashed the aircraft into the ocean, but there are those in Egypt who refuse to accept that conclusion.
Meanwhile, in July of last year, an Air France Concorde jet en route to New York crashed shortly after taking off from Charles de Gaulle Airport in France, killing all onboard and a number of people on the ground.
Air tragedies have affected the city ever since air travel began. Forty-one years ago next month, a collision between two planes over Staten Island was at the time one of the worst air disasters in United States history.
On December 16, 1960, United Airlines Flight 826 and TWA Flight 266 collided over Staten Island. The TWA flight fell to the ground on Miller Field on Staten Island, while the United flight which was bound for Chicago was able to continue towards Brooklyn.
However, the United flight clipped a wing on a tenement in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and crashed on Sterling Place. The tail of the plane ended up on Seventh Avenue.
In all, 129 passengers and six people on the ground were killed.
Finally, as World War II was winding to a close, the pilot of a B-25 bomber got lost in a thick fog while flying over the city. While flying low to regain visibility, the crew found themselves among New York's Midtown Manhattan skyscrapers. They successfully avoided several before slamming into the side of the Empire State Building.
The crash killed three members of the crew and 14 people inside the building.