Chicago, IL Airliner Crash Kills 22, July 1955



Chicago, July 17 (AP) -- An airliner coming in low for an instrument landing at haze-shrouded Midway Airport clipped an electric sign over a gasoline station and somersaulted in flames today, killing 22 of the passengers and crew and injuring 21.
The dead included a San Antonio, Texas, Naval Reservist.
Many of the victims were Air Force and Navy reservists, en route to and from summer training camps.
On Instruments.
The pilot -- Capt. ALLEN TOBIN of Dallas, who is among the dead -- was landing on instruments because of a low fog which limited visibility to a half-mile. But the plane's course was several hundred feet too far to the right of the runway and too low.
The plane ticked against the 15-foot high electric sign above a filling station across the street from the airport, crashed through a fence and spun onto its back inside the airport, one wing ripped off and the other afire.
"There was a rush of wind," said STANLEY J. WREBEL, 36, the filling station operator. "I heard the sound of the plane ticking against our sign. A moment later the plane hit the ground, so close I thought it was in the street. There was a ball of flame, a great sound of a blast, and I thought the gasoline station was going up. A moment later I could see the airliner burning inside the airport. I guess the plane was falling out of the air when it went by our station."
The wreckage skidded nearly half a mile, to withing a few hundred yards of the airport fire station. Fast acting crash crews extinguished the gasoline flames within three minutes.
Some Die In Hospitals.
Several passengers died after they had reached hospitals. Of the remaining injured, only two were on the critical list tonight.
The two-engine Braniff Airways Convair -- flight 560 from Dalas[sic] to Chicago -- was filled to capacity.
The passengers included many college students on their was home after Air Force Reserve training at Bergstrom Air Base, Tex. There were also six Navy reservists en route to Norfolk, Va., for summer training.
Among the dead were CHESTER A. WYNNE, JR., 21, of Oak Park, Ill., a senior at Notre Dame, and TROY K. LINDSEY, an all-Oklahoma conference guard from Central State College who was to have reported to the Chicago Cardinals pro football training camp.

Continued on Page 2.