Issoudun, QB Jetliner Crashes, Aug 1957
They forged a path to the spot about a half-mile away and found "parts of bodies scattered over about two acres of level, treeless, semi-muskeg."
"The immense crater where the plane struck had already filled with water," said the boy.
Neighboring farm hand GUY MICHAUD, 21, said he saw the plane flying low with all four of its propellers stalled.
"The next thing I knew there was a big explosion." Issoudun villagers told of hearing a "frightening blast" as the plane plunged into the swamp beside thick bushes.
It was last seen whining into the advance clouds of a vicious thunder storm.
Clothing, Passports and parts of bodies were strewn over acres of the swamp.
The body of an infant lay near the empty pilot's seat and a fragment of a navigation map. At another spot was a human arm.
No other bodies were immediately found.
The plane left Keflavik, Iceland early Sunday and checked in by radio at Moncton, N.B., Mont Joli, Que., and Quebec City.
Minutes after passing Quebec, it crashed.
An air force plane from Trenton, Ont., dropped three members of a para-rescue squad which, sent back the brief message:
"There are no survivors."
MCA officials here said they had "absolutely no idea of what caused the plane to crash."
The aircraft was one of three DC-4's used for overseas charter service. Regular MCA service is mostly in the maritime provinces.
Canon ALEXANDRE DeBLOIR, parish priest of Ste. Croix, about five miles from the crash scene, saw the plane fly into the storm. Later, he related, "the nuns who work in the presbytery said they had seen a plane flying very low."
"Seconds later there had been a frightening blast. But the nuns did not think it was the plane. They thought it was a highway crash."
Farmer EVARISTE CHAREST said he heard a sound "like tin banging against trees" then a loud explosion.
The main part of the plane was pitched into the bush 500 feet ahead of the motors. Clothing and equipment hung in trees.
Police believed several bodies might have been thrown into the bush but postponed a search until today.
A team of inspectors from the federal transport department's district office in Montreal has left Montreal to investigate the crash.
The afternoon storm poured several inches of rain into the swamp. Searchers worked ankle deep in water and mud.
One twisted propeller was found a quarter-mile away.
The first to report from the crash scene were the three RCAF parachutists -- Sgts. JACK CLYDON, DON NIVANS and AL SMITH, all of Trenton.
"Everything seems to have been blown to bits -- the plane everyone aboard and every piece of clothing," reported CBC photographer FRANCOIS DUSSAULT.
The plane carried 41 women, 29 men and three children -- an infant girl and two boys.
ALAN LOVE and his son PETER, 5, of Charlottetown, were talked into taking the flight by relatives in England. They had believed it would stop at Gander and planned to transfer there to another plane. The DC-4 didn't stop and the LOVES died in the wreck.
The two stewardesses -- ANNE-MARIE HARVEY, 23 and CHARLOTTE LeBLANC, 28, both of Moncton -- had joined Maritime Central only three months ago.
The illness of her husband probably saved the life of MRS. HILDA ASHTON of Toronto.
First reports had included her name in the passenger list. But a check of her home disclosed she had flown home late last month after attending a family reunion in Sittingbourne, Kent, because her husband had been taken to hospital with a serious lung condition.
In Toronto Maritime Central Airways issued Sunday night a statement over the signature of F. T. BRIGGS, its president, which said:
"Maritime Central Airways announces with deepest regret that ground parties have re reached the scene of the crash of their DC-4 aircraft and report that there are no survivors."
"Sincerest sympathy is extended to the next of kin of passengers and crew."
"The superintendent of maintenance and engineering MR. JOHN GALLE, together with Managing Director C. F. BURKE and chief pilot Capt. G. GODFREY of the company are arriving in Quebec city tonight to investigate the crash in an effort to establish the cause."