August 16, 1987: 156 killed in Northwest jet crash
At least 156 people aboard a Northwest airlines jet, which crashed on a highway in Detroit, died in the fiery plunge, the second worst air rash in US history. The plane caught fire seconds after take-off, clipped a building and plummeted into cars on a busy highway in Romulus, a western suburb of Detroit. A spokesman for the Wayne county sheriff’s office, whose jurisdiction includes Romulus, said in addition to those on board at least two motorists died in the tragedy. Dahlen said the plane was carrying 144 passengers and nine crew. Three of the crew members were in transit and not working on the flight. Four-year-old girl Cecelia Cichan was the only passenger to survive. Steven Rothmeier, the airline’s chairman, said in a statement issued at the company’s headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota, that Northwest was “stunned by this tragic loss”. It was the second-worst US air crash ever. In 1982, 153 people were killed when a Pan-Am jet went down in Kenner, Louisiana.