Georgetown, WA Plane Crash During Takeoff, July 1949
SIX PERSONS KILLED AS PLANE DIVES INTO HOUSES ON TAKEOFF.
Seattle, July 20 (AP) -- An air transport with 32 persons aboard crashed into five houses last night in a takeoff from Seattle's Boeing Field.
The coroner's office reported many hours later that six bodies had been found in the wreckage of the twin-engined C-46 and the debris of the wrecked homes. The search was continuing.
Miraculously, most, if not all, of the persons aboard the Chicago-bound, non-schedule plane escaped with their lives. Most of the victims were believed to have perished in the houses.
A wing sheared away the top two floors of a rooming house where 18 persons lived. It piled on down into a brick home. In the two minutes before the wrecked ship exploded most or all the passengers got clear.
The coroner's office tentatively identified the dead as:
Private First Class LAURENCE FURIO, U.S. Army, Chicago, passenger.
Corporal FRANK CATIOCA, U.S. Air Force, Kalamazoo, Michigan, passenger.
Residents of 961 Harney Street rooming house:
FRANK MORGAN, 55, machinist.
RALPH PARKER, 65, retired.
OLAI NIEMI, 65, lumber and sawmill worker.
ED BRIGHTCAMP, 71, retired.
All the bodies were burned, making identification difficult.
Seventeen of the two-engined plane's passengers and its four crew members were hospitalized. Two were missing. Nine residents of the damaged homes were taken to hospitals.
Struck Power Lines.
A failure of one of the engines was blamed for the catastrophe. The plane, unable to gain sufficient altitute quickly, hit power lines above the Georgetown district in Seattle's south end. Then it plummeted into the houses below, carrying death and destruction with it.
Cutting off power lines through the area into darkness, broken by the eerie sputtering and flashing of the dangerously dangling wires.
The C-46 was a two-engine, 50-passenger transport of a type used widely during the war for troop and cargo carriers.
Seven residents of the damaged homes also were injured, and four firemen were hospitalized when a gasoline tank exploded three and a half hours after the crash.
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