Milwaukee, WI Jetliner Crashes On Takeoff Killing 31, Sep 1985
"The plane rolled sharply to the right, upside down. It hit the ground nose first and there was a loud explosion. I felt the initial heat blast."
Rescue workers picked through the 200 yards of fire-scarred trees and small pieces of airplane. A temporary morgue was set up in a nearby Milwaukee County maintenance hangar.
Area residents gathered by police blockades to view the wreckage and parked their cars along the area where a refrigerated truck was brought to carry the remains for identification.
Meanwhile, relatives of the victims met with American Red Cross officials with American Red Cross officials and clergy in The Signature Room restaurant at the airport.
Other relatives flew to the airport from Atlanta and Madison late Friday, officials said.
Fourteen bodies were recovered within hours of the crash, but the grisly search for more victims went into the night under the bright beams from temporary spotlights.
All the victims were from Wisconsin, the majority of them from Milwaukee, said JOSE OLLER, a spokesman for Midwest Express.
Billboards outside the airport heralded the airline's new nonstop flights to Atlanta. The crash was the first since the airline began in June 1984 and the only fatal commercial crash in the airport's history.
Officials could not confirm reports that one engine malfunctioned before the jet began rolling into a nose dive.
The worst previous air accident at Mitchell Field before Friday's crash of a Midwest Express airliner came 12 years ago when a private plane went down killing 16 people.
Daily Herald Chicago Illinois 1985-09-07
Listing of Casualties:
Pilot DAN W. MARTIN, 31, Appleton, Wis.
Co-Pilot WILLIAM R. WEISS, Hortonville, Wis.
Flight Attendant AMY BAIN, 20, Milwaukee, Wis.
Flight Attendant SHARON HERB, 24, Shorewood, Wis.
THOMAS BARANELLO, Martins Landing, Georgia.
NICK CHRISTOPHER, 33, Grafton, Wis.
JOHN CONNELLY, Appleton, Wis.
PAULETTE CHANDLER, 40, Madison, Wis.
MIKE DANHOPE, Alpharetta, Ga.
CAL VERN DAVIS, Stone Mountain, Ga.
NICHOLAS E. DeCANDIA, 46, Appleton,
MICHAEL DUPUIS, LaGrange, Georgia.
WILLIAM EPSILANTIS, Atlanta, Georgia.
CHARLES HARGROVE, Waynesville, N.C.
DARLA MEDLEY, Norcross, Ga.
DONALD HELMS, Decatur, Ga.
KURT HOLT, Atlanta, Ga.
STEVE HYNSON, Covington, Georgia.
DONALD F. JENKINS, Marietta, Ga.
CELESTE LUNSFORD, Decatur, Georgia.
NANCY MANI, Savannah, Ga.
FRANK McGIBBONEY, Stone Mountain, Ga.
RICHARD POPE, 50, Douglasville, Ga.
RAY SCHMUHL, Marietta, Georgia.
JEFFREY SCOTT SIMMONS, 26, Smyrna, Georgia.
ELKINS SIMPSON, LaGrange, Ga.
JOHN O. SKAGEN, 58, Roswell, Ga.
DON SOOY, Lilburn, Ga.
EARL SWEET, Georgia.
JOHN L. TUCKS, Conyers, Ga.
RICHARD WATERS, 27, Mapleton, Ga.