100 Mile House, BC Plane Explosion, July 1965

Flight 21 Wreckage Site 1.jpg Canadian Pacific Flight 21 Airliner which crashed.jpg

CANADA AIR TOLL 52.

100 Mile House, B.C. (AP) -- Fifty-two persons, some of them children, died when a four-engined Canadian Pacific Airlines plane apparently exploded in flight and crashed in remote rangeland late Thursday.
None of the 46 passengers and 6 crew members aboard survived.
The DC-6B was Flight 21 out of Vancouver, B.C., at 3:30 p.m. bound for Whitehorse, Y.T., with stops scheduled at Fort St. John, Fort Nelson and Watson Lake, B.C. The plane was bought by the airline 12 years ago.
CPA officials said they heard three staccato cries of "May Day" -- the international distress call -- just before the plane vanished from radar screens. The tail stabilizer was found a mile from the main wreckage and officials said they believed an explosion had occurred.
It came down in rolling cattle country near this tiny shipping town 170 miles northeast of Vancouver.
Capt. JOHN ALFRED STEELE, 41, of Vancouver, about 15 minutes before the crash radioed he was changing course slightly to avoid turbulence ahead.
The plane was flying at 15,000 feet.
Then came the "May Day" calls and the plane went silent.
Three forest towers in the area spotted a plume of smoke and ordered a British Columbia Forest Service pilot, Slim Sherk, to fly his light plane over the area.
"I could see black smoke curling up into the sky 30 miles away," he said. "I had no suspicion it was anything but a forest fire."
As he flew closer:
"I could see it was a plane on fire. There was the smoke of magnesium burning. I have seen it burning before in plane crashes."
"The fuselage was smoke and raw flames. The wings were collapsing from the heat but the plane was relatively intact except for the tail section."
"It appeared as though the plane dove straight into the bush. There was no trail of broken trees."
"I counted 20 or 40 bodies until I couldn't find anymore."
Shark radioed the Forest Service and flew over the site until a ground party came in.

Star News Pasadena California 1965-07-09

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BOMB PLOT HINTED IN PLANE CRASH.

Vancouver, B.C. (UPI) -- Authorities Friday, seized all flight insurance and other records connected with a Canadian Pacific DC6B airliner that exploded and crashed Thursday with the loss of 52 lives. Sabotage by bomb was among the possible causes being probed by investigators.
A senior officer of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said the investigators were leaning heavily toward "the bomb theory."
Department of Transport (DOT) officials impounded all flight insurance, cargo manifestos, maintenance records and passenger lists.
"We have not yet found anything to definitely suggest sabotage," said Regional DOT Director Dr. Thomas How. "But there are many things to consider and sabotage is one of them."
A witness to the crash said the tail section of the plane, bound for Whitehorse, Yukon via Prince George, Fort St. John and Watson Lake, exploded in air before the craft hurtled to earth in a long spiral and smashed into a heavily wooded area of caribou ranch country near Dog Creek.
The airliner crashed about 7:55 p.m., EDT, 150 miles north of Vancouver. It carried 46 passengers,
four of them children, and a crew of six.
Two Americans were listed among the dead. They were identified as MR. and MRS. MacLENNAN of Los Angeles, Calif.
Many of the bodies were scattered through the underbrush over a half-mile area. Others were still fastened to their seats in the main fuselage, all burned beyond recognition. Some of the victims sitting near the rear who were thrown out were stripped of their clothing.

San Antonio Light Texas 1965-07-10

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CASUALTY LIST.
Vancouver (CP) -- Official passenger list, as issued by Canadian Pacific Airlines, of Flight 21, four-engined DC-6B which crashed Thursday near 100 Mile House, B.C.
There were no survivors among the 52 passengers.
All passengers except two Canadians have been identified.
Crew:
Captain JOHN ALFRED STEELE, 41, North Vancouver.
First Officer WARNER MURRAY WELLS, 29, North Vancouver.
Second Officer STANLEY E. CLARKE, 26, Richmond, B.C.
Steward ERNEST WENZEL SOURAL, 31, Vancouver, formerly of Montreal.
Stewardess SUE HEINRICH, 22, Vancouver.
Stewardess MARLENE BRAUER, 20, 1250 Burnaby Street, Vancouver.
CPA officials were trying to contact MISS BRAUER'S only known relatives, in Germany.
Passengers:
MR. and MRS. ANGELO PIGATTI and infant daughter, of Casziar, B.C.
CPA officials were trying to contact the PIGATTI'S only known relatives, in Italy.
MR. and MRS. J. EADIE, Vancouver.
MR. ANDISON, Vancouver.
H. A. JANSE, North Vancouver.
MR. TITUS, Chetwynd, B.C.
N. HARRINGTON, Whitehorse, Y.T.
H. REILLY, Whitehorse.
MRS. A. SZONYI and child, Whitehorse.
R. G. WEBER, Prince George, B.C.
K. COONS, Dawson Creek, B.C.
D. HAY, Dawson Creek.
MRS. R. SIMPSON, Watson Lake, Y.T.
C. L. KING, Toronto.
PAUL DAVID VANDERMUELEN, Richmond, B.C.
MRS. W. K. QUAYLE, Victoria.
R. LEBLANC, Burns Lake, B.C.
DR. W. EMO, Brownsberg, Que.
MRS. D. A. HARRIS, Halifax.
MR. and MRS. MacLELLAN, Los Angeles.
MR. and MRS. ROGNERUD and two children, Oslo, Norway.
MISS E. CHAPMAN, Vancouver.
G. WHIMP, Watson Lake, Y.T.
C. BERG (hometown unavailable).
MRS. B. SEELIGER (hometown unavailable).
MR. McMURCHY, Prince George, B.C.
K. MOORE, Vancouver.
B. NESSETH, Vancouver.
DAVID CRAIG, Victoria.
G. GAITENS, North Vancouver.
D. EDGAR, North Surrey, B.C.
N. HARVEY, Vancouver.
P. ZUHROVSKY, Sardis, B.C.
S. KOLESZAR, Vancouver.
MR. and MRS. COVELLO, 866 Borebank Street, Winnipeg.

The Brandon Sun Manitoba 1965-07-09

See New Information on Page 2

Continued on Page 2.

Comments

1965 air crash 100 mile house

I just learned about this air crash today because of the effort being made to create a memorial in 100 Mile House. I'm incredibly saddened by the event, and by the fact so many innocent people were killed, leaving behind families and other loved ones.

I hope to be able to write a piece about the crash, and will post it on my blog, with a print version to be forthcoming. Anyone who has information they'd like to share, please feel free to contact me:

susmithjosephy at shaw dot ca

or through my website: www.susmithjosephy.com

Name and address

Mrs. B. Seeliger listed is actually
Miss Barabara Seeliger, a nurse from Burns Lake, B.C.

Memorial

We had a memorial service at the crash site on July 8th 1995, the 25th anniversary.
There have been numerous memorials and small tributes left at that location.
At this time, work is in progress to erect a memorial in 100 Mile House by the airport.
There will be a stone monument, and benches to sit on to reflect.
We are hoping to connect more family members for input , and to spread the word for those who may want to come to the dedication.
To that end, I created a Community Facebook site (C.P.Air Flight 21) so we can connect.
I lost my dad when I was 5 in this tragedy, and now live in 100 Mile House and go to visit the site every year.

Memorial

My father ,
Dr. Wallce B. Emo persihed in this terrible disaster when my sisters and I were very young.
By coincidence (or not), I ended up moving to 100 Mile House from Montreal, and have been involved with writing researching, and memorializing this tragedy that affected so many families.

In 1995 we held a memorial service at the crash site with as many people as we could reach at the time.
Carmen Lott (who lost her grandmother), was instrumental in organizing this. I would like to start a page or forum that stays more current so that we can connect and share our stories .

We are working on a monument to be erected at the 100 Mile House airport and hopefully to be completed and dedicated this July 8 th 2013. Suggestions (and donations) are welcome.

This is aviation history yes, but so much more to those of us whose lives have been forever altered, there's a very personal side to this story, and we will never forget the loved ones we have lost.

With our thoughts for those lost loved ones.

May I introduce myself. I am the archivist for the Eagle Group of Companies an airline group that operated in the UK during the 50's and 60's. You may ask what is my connection with the tragic events of CF-CUQ. I suppose not a lot. However we leased this very aircraft from CPA during the sixties for about a year.
Having in the last couple of years been involved with relatives of past accidents our airline had I know and understand the sadness even after so many years that still exsist. I just want you all to know our thoughts and prayers are for you. Eric

What a sad state. Wonder what else can be done to het answers,

Friend if Bill and Lindas

100 Mile House, BC Plane Explosion, July 1965

100 Mile House, BC Plane Explosion, July 1965

Regarding this story I have a wee correction to the casualty list of this tragedy.

"MR. and MRS. ANGELO PIGATTI and infant daughter, of Casziar, B.C.
CPA officials were trying to contact the PIGATTI'S only known relatives, in Italy."

The Pigati family lived in Cassiar, BC. (not "Casziar").
They lived on the next street up from our family.

Jack Woodward

Jack was my uncle (my Dad's older brother). I remember when we received the news of his death as my grandmother was staying with us. I just remember her collapsing to the floor saying I should not outlive my children! It was hard for all the family as this was so senseless. Jack was in the prime of his life, well known for his work and left a young family that have mourned his loss for a very long time.

reply to julie

julie i would be happy to show you what i have. it will not offer any new information i am sure. i found this website quite by accident and i was shocked to see that it was actually known that there was a bomb. this was a devastating event in my family life-history. the whole experience, from the way cpa failed to notify us , attending at the makeshift morgue with my parents and seeing other survivors there are things that haunt you and influence you throughout your life. since i saw it in black and white that there was a bomb i have been angry and puzzled. how in the world can they not know who was responsible. my father was a court reporter in northern b.c. at the time of the crash and one of the rcmp investigators told him (during the investigation) that they believed a stewardess had brought something explosive on board for her boyfriend who worked at endako mines. never did hear anything conclusive. i didnt even know there was a memorial site. i will go there this summer. i would welcome an opportunity to speak with you some time.

REPLY

JULIE, I AM SORRY IF I WAS UNCLEAR, I DO NOT HAVE OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS OR FINDINGS FROM THE RCMP. WHAT I DO HAVE I AM MORE THAN WILLING TO SHARE. DO U WANT TO EMAIL ME OR GIVE ME YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS. I JUST HAPPENED UPON THIS SITE ALSO. I HAVE BEEN HAUNTED BY THIS CRASH FOR YEARS AND WAS RECENTLY TELLING A FRIEND OF MINE ABOUT IT. HE IS A PILOT AND HE TOLD ME THAT THERE WAS A LOT ON THE INTERNET.... MY FATHER WAS THE CHIEF COURT REPORTER FOR NORTHERN B.C, AT THE TIME OF THE CRASH. HE KNEW MANY MEMBERS OF THE RCMP AND ONE OF THEM IN VANCOUVER -GOSSIPED- TO HIM THAT THEY THOUGHT A STEWARDESS TOOK SOME EXPLOSIVE ON BOARD FOR HER BOYFRIEND WHO WORKED AT ENDAKO MINES. I JUST DONT UNDERSTAND WHY THERE ARE NO ANSWERS. HAVE YOU BEEN TO THE MEMORIAL SITE. I JUST FOUND OUT ABOUT THAT TOO AND I PLAN TO GO THIS SUMMER. THE WHOLE MEMORY OF THIS IS LIKE A RAW WOUND. I COULD WRITE A BOOK ABOUT HOW BADLY THE SURVIVING FAMILY MEMBERS WERE TREATED BY THE AIRLINE... O WELL, THIS IS VERY INTERESTING TO TOUCH BASE WITH SOME PEOPLE WITH COMMON EXPERIENCE. LET ME KNOW ABOUT THE INFO, IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE IT DORIS