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

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



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.



TCA Flight 831

We are researching the crash of TCA Flight 831 and have contacted more than half of the families involved. We would like to make contact and learn of your interest in this event.

Also, you may be interested in our DVD "Our Search for Memory" which includes an introduction to our project by Robert J. Page, the son of one of the victims, the CBC documentary, "At the Moment of Impact", broadcast in 1965; the Radio-Canada 40th anniversary report, and a musical tribute to the lives lost and their families.

looking forward to hearing from you

Ernest J. Dick
902 532-0969

Nov 1963 Air Crash

I would like to add my father to the list of passengers who died. Olivier Allemand of Toronto.