Pacoima, CA Jet Crashes into Schoolyard, Jan 1957
JET-TRANSPORT COLLISION SHOWERS DEATH FROM CALIFORNIA SKY
Plane Falls In Schoolyard; 7 Die
Crippled Airliner Wreckage Splatters Playing Schoolboys
2 Students Killed At Play
VAN NUYS, Calif. (AP) - A collision-crippled airliner smashed into a crowded schoolyard Thursday, scattering its deadly debris like shrapnel. Seven persons died, two of them children.
The injured numbered 78.
Shocked citizens today sought some curb on plane testing over such populous areas as this sprawling San Fernando Valley city.
The four-engine plane, on its final test flight, collided at 20,000 feet with a jet fighter, also being tested. The transport came down in a screaming dive, disintegrating as it fell.
A blazing wing section exploded over the athletic field at Pacoima Junior High School, where nearly 100 seventh-grade boys in gym clothes were exercising.
The plane's flying fragments cut them down as they ran. Two were hurt fatally. The four men in the transport also were killed, as was the pilot of the fighter plane.
Hospitals said 28 persons were admitted, all but one of them pupils. Fifty other boys were treated and released, attendants reported.
Two other schools, a church and scores of residences for blocks around were damaged by bits and pieces of the plane as it burst like a fiery bomb over the residential area 20 miles northwest of Los Angeles.
In Washington, D. C., southern California House members united in a demand for an investigation. They said they would seek to prevent future test flights over populous areas. City and school officialsjoined in condemning the practice.
Hundreds of persons saw the two planes plunge from cloudless skies.
The big silver airliner a DC7 being readied by Douglas Aircraft for Continental Air Lines, turned in a vast curve, spouting flames and smoke. As the angle of its dive steepened it came apart piece by piece, filling the air with debris.
"It looked like stove pipes and ticker tape falling," said a motorist, M. C. Dougherty.
The jet, an F-89 Scorpion, being tested by Northrop Aircraft, Inc., went down several miles east of Pacoima.
"It kept going straight for a moment," said Jack Bacich, 41, who was working in his yard at the time. "Then it banked slightly and went straight down into the ground."
CURTIS A. ADAMS, 28, a radarman, parachuted from the jet. He was picked up, injured but alive, near Glendale. In the hospital, he told reporters.
"We had completed the second of three passes we were making to test our radar. I saw something loom up on the left side. After that I'm not sure what happened."
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