Cheshire, CT Plane Crash, Jan 1946

16 Persons Die Friday Morning in Plane Crash

CHESHIRE, Conn. -- (UP) -- An Eastern airlines plane caught fire in flight Friday and crashed in flames in a wooded patch near the state reformatory killing its 13 passengers and crew of three.

The plane was enroute from New York to Boston when the crash occurred. There were no survivors state police reported.

The bodies of three women were found among the victims. An identification disc bearing the name 'F. W. Bassett Pan-American Airway,' was found at the wreckage.

Eyewitnesses reported that the twin engined airliner caught fire as it passed over Cheshire.

With smoke trailing behind the plane, the pilot apparently tried desperately to set the plane down in an emergency landing. But then an explosion shook the plane.

Describe Plane Crash

C. A. Goddard, president of the Ball & Socket co., said when the explosion occurred 'the wings of the plane folded and the plane came straight down.'

Peter Ricco, an overseas veteran, saw the plane catch fire. He ran to the scene of the crash, but flames and the intense heat kept him a distance from the wreckage.

'No one got out,' he said. 'Everybody evidently stayed with the ship.'

The plane left Laguardia field, New York, at 10:28 a.m. and crashed at 11:06 a.m.

Rescuers were unable to remove the bodies for more than 90 minutes after the crash because of the flames. All bodies were burned badly, some beyond recognition.

Firemen Couldn't Help

All police and fire emergency equipment in the area was alerted immediately after the crash. But the wreckage was reached with considerable difficulty by fire apparatus because of barbed-wire barriers enclosing the patch of land on which the plane struck.

One of the first to report the crash was R. E. Warner, Chesire constable. Flames shot 300 feet into the air after the plane crashed, Warner said.

Transcribed from the Waukesha Daily Freeman, Waukesha, WI, January 18, 1946, p 1.