Ste. Therese De Blainville, QB Airliner Crashes, Nov 1963

Shattered Airliner Quebec CAN plane crash site 11-29-1963.jpg

TCA CRASH KILLS 118 -- NONE SURVIVES AIR DISASTER.

JET PLOUGHS INTO QUEBEC SWAMP LEAVING DEATH, WRECKAGE.

Ste. Therese De Blainville, Que. (CP) -- Scores of mud-caked police and others worked tirelessly amid death and destruction as a rainy, grey dawn broke Saturday over the Laurentian countryside where a Trans-Canada Air Lines DC-8F jet dived into the ground and carried 118 persons to a fiery death.
Hastily erected lights disclosed an eerie scene, pieces of human bodies, half-buried personal belongings and shattered bits of what had been a sleek airliner.
There were no survivors of TCA's ill-fated flight No. 831, which took off from Montreal's Dorval airport for Toronto at 6:28 p.m. Friday and four minutes later plowed into a virtual quagmire near this town 20 miles north of Montreal.
The dead numbered 111 passengers and seven crew members.
There were 70 from the Toronto area, five from Western Canada, one from New Brunswick, one from Brooklyn, N.Y., one believed from Port Washington, N.Y., and one whose next of kin address was listed as Bombay, India.
The crash was the worst in Canadian aviation history and the second worst single-plane disaster in civilian world flying.
Pieces of bodies were gathered up and placed in rubber sheets and blankets to await transportation to a morgue set up in a barracks builring at nearby Camp Bouchard.
In the glare of the floodlights, arms, legs and torsos could be seen in trees through which the giant liner tore to the ground. A human hand, a ring on a finger, could be seen a few yards from the plane wreckage, sticking out of the mud.
But, as dawn came, there was little that could be recognized as a plane -- only shattered pieces and twisted metal. One appeared to be the nose of the plane.
In its death dive the plane dug a huge crater in the soggy ground. From the top of the crater part of a uniformed body could be seen in one section of the half buried piece of wreckage.
Investigators were under way but there was no immediate indication of what caused the sudden crash.
At dawn Rev. ARTHUR GAREAU, Roman Catholic Chaplain of the Montreal General Hospital, stood beside the crater and said last rites. A single tongue of fire still rose from the wreckage.
A guard of about 500 RCMP officers stood around the crater.
Workmen dug a ditch about the perimeter of the crater to allow surface water to drain off, pending installation of a pump to remove water from the crater itself.
Swarms of spectators, drawn to the town by news of the crash, thinned out during the night.

Continued

Comments

I remember when your father

I remember when your father died as I was in the same class as your sister Claudette. She was a good friend of mine and I was devastated that she had lost her father.

David W Pollock

Davie, as he was called, was my older cousin. He lived in Motherwell, Lanarkshire, Scotland with his family and had lived in Canada in the late 1950's, as we did. They decided to return to Canada. Davie came to my parents home just before they were due to return to Canada and told my parents that he didn't want to go. Sadly he went and died in that awful crash with all those other souls..managing to secure a seat due to others missing the flight. We speak of him often. My parents visited the memorial at St Therese in the 70's. Remembering always those who died, those who lost their loved ones and the people who searched for and recovered the victims.

My father was also one of the 8 who missed the flight

Hi Thomas,

My father was one of the 8 who missed Flight 831 because of the weather. I was 2 years old at the time and in all these years my mother only talked to me about it once. My father never spoke of it to me. He passed away some years ago. From my research I discovered an airport limousine was delayed by the weather. Was this a van that carried all of the 8 people? If it was a group of people I'm just wondering if you might have met my father that night on that drive to the airport. He was 36 at the time, and worked for the United Steelworkers. His last name was Ormsby. Lately I've been a bit obsessed about this event and the twist of fate that spared my father. I realize that remembering something like this is not pleasant but if you have any info for me regarding my father I would be most thankful.

Ryan

PHILIP REID AUSTIN

MY BROTHER, HUB, OFTEN TROLLED FOR LAKE TROUT AT CEDAR POINT ONTARIO WITH PHIL DURING THE WAR. I HAVE A PHOTO OF MY BROTHER AND PHIL ON MY FRIDGE PROUDLY HOLDING THEIR DAILY CATCH OF 3. WITH NO GASOLINE AVAILABLE, ONE WOULD ROW AND THE OTHER WOULD TROLL, THEN REEL IN AND SWITCH. PHIL HAD GREAT SMILE. I FOUND THIS WEBSITE AND THOUGHT I'D TOUCH BASE.

My father was one of the 8 who missed the flight

This is the first time I've researched this disaster. My parents never spoke of it but after my father died many years later my mother told me of the bizarre twist of fate regarding this disaster. My father, Burris Ormsby, like some of the other 8 was delayed by the traffic jam in Montreal that afternoon. He worked for the United Steelworkers and was on a business trip in Montreal. My father ended up taking another flight (I think it was a propeller plane---a Vanguard or Vicount----I'm not sure of the non-jet passenger aircraft of 1963. I was only 2 years old and my sister 7. Life would have been completely different if dad had died. We would not have lived in the lovely surroundings and had the family times we shared. Dad never spoke of this disaster. As I said earlier, I was quite a bit older when I learned of it but I never did know the flight number. I want to share something even more uncanny with the readers which might make everyone think even more deeply about fate.

In WW2 my father had a rifle propped under his jaw and pointed up to his head. The trigger was pushed by accident upon hitting a rut in a road. The gun misfired. Dad told me about this when I was boy [it was during his time in Palestine].

In 1960, my dad had a tire blow out on the QEW highway and his car rolled over crushing the cab. He survived with only minor injuries. Dad told me he didn't wear his seat belt that day and he attributed it to his survival (as odd as that may seem).

Regarding flight 831, my mother was told by his office that my father had perished in the crash. My dad's secretary was hysterical because she booked the flight. But later in the evening (I think it was the same night), my father arrived in Toronto and caught a cab. He walked into the house to the complete and utter shock of my mother. Dad had not heard of the disaster. I think of fate often, and this disaster is always in the back of my mind. I believe that all of us can receive premonitions but only a few of us sense them strongly. The young and the old seem most attuned to them. Something to think about.

C.R.Elford

I was looking up your page as the anniversary of the crash was yesterday (Nov.29). I was horrified when I was reviewing the list of crash victims and found that Carson Ray Elford's name was spelt incorrectly. This is shocking as you seem to have a particular attention to detail elsewhere, but not here. Carson Ray was my Grandfather, and I know it would destroy my grandmother to see that he is not being treated appropriately. If you would be able to correct this error, myself and his descendants would be very pleased.
Many Thanks,
A. Foreman

Lorna flight 831

I knew your aunt and your mother.
The last time I saw you was at your grandmother's place on Harcourt rd.
I don't know how much help I can be.
Please email me or call 250 882 4550

Hiram Cairns

Crash 831

my daughter and I were two of the eight people who missed this flight.
The recent flight disaster. In the Alps brought back memories 50 years ago

My adopted father, Michael,

My adopted father, Michael, was on board this flight. He adopted me in the fall of 1959, so we had a four year relationship. I was devastated to learn that he had died. I miss him immensely. I am working on a personal manuscript that has many pages that speaks to his character. I love you and still miss you dad.

Harry Dyck

I was a neighbour of Harry and Charlotte Dyck when they lived on Edna Ave. in Toronto. My brother, Paul found their son, Harold, requesting a picture of his Dad. Did you send it to him? I know this is now 2014, but I thought I would give it a try. His email is hj.dyck@gmail.com.

Sandy (nee Cate) Chambers