Gander, NF (near) Belgian Airliner Crashes, Sep 1946

Gander NFD plane crash 9-18-1946.jpg Gander NFD Plane crash 9-18-1946 memorial.jpg




New York, Sept. 19 -- At least five to seven persons were reported today by separate sources as having survived the crash of a trans-Atlantic Belgian airliner which crashed near Gander, Newfoundland.
A Trans-World Airlines pilot aboard an inbound plane reported seeing three persons at the side of the wreck and four others walking about four miles from the scene. The coast guard said one of its search planes had seen five persons.
Airliner Burned.
The Trans-World Airlines plane, which left Boston early today for Cairo and heading towards Gander, circled the scene for an hour until other planes could arrive to take up the rescue.
All the survivors were said to be "very active" and waved their coats vigorously at the plane.
The pilot reported, according to the T.W.A., that the Sabena plane was completely burned through all in one piece. Trees were levelled for 300 yards where it had smashed along the ground, he said.
Kits Dropped.
Survival kits were dropped to them by searching planes.
The coast guard said its North Atlantic patrol reported the survivors seen included two men, two women and a child. It was not estabished immediately whether there were others alive.
The wreckage was reported on a hillside "in very difficult country." The kits were dropped by a coast guard plane soon after an inbound Trans World Airlines plane spotted them.
Rescue Teams Landed.
The coast guard said a PBY plane landed with a rescue team on a lake four or five miles from the crash scene and slowly was making its way across rocky, hilly country. Two army rescue teams also were to be landed near the scene.
Earlier, Sabena, the company operating the plane, said a rescue party was rushing to the scene 23 miles southwest of Gander.

Gander Airport, Nfld., Sept. 19. -- (C.P. Cable) -- Through densely forested country near 20-mile-long Gander lake a land search party was pushing its way today toward the wreckage of the crashed Belgian Sabena Airlines DC-4 aircraft sighted earlier by a search plane.
Though the crew of the search plane reported it had seen no survivors, aircraft company officials in New York said there were "some survivors." The plane was carrying 37 passengers and seven crew members from Brussels to New York. Later, U.S. coast guard reported five survivors seen.
Locality where the Belgian aircraft crashed is unoccupied country some 22 miles southwest of Gander airport and a few miles south of Gander lake which is fed by two rivers navigable only by canoes.
Observers believed the inland journey of the search party over the "trappers country" might take at least 24 hours. The area contains stretches of barrens and marsh-lands as well as heavy forests, lakes and streams.
Last contact with the Sabena Airlines plane with 37 passengers and a crew of seven aboard was made at 4:37 a.m. (A.D.T.) yesterday when the aircraft made an instrument approach to the field here.
With a ceiling of about 300 feet the plane flew over the field once and then disappeared.
The plane left Brussels Tuesday night and made a refueling stop at Shannon airport, Eire.

The Lethbridge Herald Alberta 1946-09-19

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