Issoudun, QB Jetliner Crashes, Aug 1957
WORST AIR CRASH KILLS 79.
LIGHTNING POSSIBLE CAUSE.
Issoudun, Que. (CP) -- Seventy-nine persons died Sunday in Canada's worst plane crash when a big DC-4 dug deep into a swamp and tore apart, leaving flame-singed wreckage scattered over a wide area near this community 15 miles southwest of Quebec.
While available evidence pointed to lightning as one possible cause of the mid-afternoon tragedy, investigators set about an inquiry. The crash eclipsed the TCA accident last December when 62 persons died against a peak in B.C.
There was no official word available on what might have doomed the Maritime Central Airways plane, inbound for Torondo from London. Aboard were homing vacationers, including many former British servicemen. The plane had been chartered by an Ontario veterans association and was on course.
All but two of the passengers -- a Charlottetown father and his five-year-old son -- were from Ontario.
The aircraft was piloted by NORMAN RAMSAY of Montreal who had been with MCA two years.
The 37 year old pilot's licence was suspended for six months late in 1954 after a transport department board of inquiry blamed him for "negligence" in the crash of a TCA Super-Constellation near Brampton, Ont.
However, MCA described him as a 'good, well trained pilot.'
Wreckage of the plane is slowly sinking into water-soaked muskeg, deputy transport minister J. A. BALDWIN said in Ottawa.
He said a major pumping operation may be necessary to reach the wreckage for use in an investigation launched by the department. Craters containing plane sections were filling with water.
MR. BALDWIN said orders have gone to Quebec district officials to do whatever is necessary to bring out the wreckage, regardless of expense.
The worst commercial air accident in world history occurred June 30, 1956. A trans-World Airliner and United Airlines plane collided over the Grand Canyon and all 128 persons aboard the two craft were killed.
Eighty persons died in March 1950, as a chartered plane carrying soccer fans from a match in Dublin crashed at Cardiff, Wales.
The highest toll in any air disaster occurred near Tokyo June 18, 1953, when 129 homebound U.S. servicemen died in the crash of a U.S. Air Force plane.
Farmer ALFRED MARTEL, on whose land the plane crashed, saw and heard nothing. But his son, JEAN-GUY, 12, and hired man FERDINAND OLIVIER, 31, were in a field on a tractor and reported watching the stricken aircraft plunge "straight down." Their vehicle's roar drowned out the impact.