QUEENS, N.Y. (PIX11)—Friends and family commemorated the 10th anniversary Saturday of the crash of American Airlines Flight 587, which went down over Belle Harbor, killing all 260 passengers and crew aboard and five people on the ground.
Mourners held roses and family photos of their lost loved during the observance of a moment of silence and the names of the victims being read aloud. Mayor Bloomberg was there to offer comfort to those left behind. "Ten years have gone by, but as you know all too well, everyday in the wake of tragedy is a day of remembrance, a time to honor and an occasion for finding strength," Bloomberg said.
"Each birthday and holiday, graduation or new addition to the family reminds us of the grandfather, grandmother, cousin or friend we miss so terribly," the mayor added.
Flight 587 bound for the Dominican Republic out of JFK Kennedy International Airport in Jamaica crashed at 9:16 a.m., Nov. 12, 2001, shocking New Yorkers still raw and traumatized from the Sept. 11, 2001, World Trade Center attack that took the lives of close to 3,000 people; scores of them were city cops and firefighters from Belle Harbor. Dominican neighborhoods across the city like Washington Heights were hard hit, as it felt like everyone knew someone aboard the doomed flight.
Because the crash happened so close to the World Trade Center attacks, there was widespread fear and speculation at the time that terrorists may have struck again. But, investigators determined pilot error caused the crash. Well over 250 lawsuits were brought because of the accident. Since then, all the suits have been settled for undisclosed amounts that reportedly totaled more than a half-a-billion dollars.
The crash remains the second deadliest aviation accident on U.S. soil -- the worst being the DC-10, American Airlines Flight 191 out of Chicago-O'Hare International Airport headed to Los Angeles on May 25, 1979. It went down shortly after takeoff that afternoon, killing all 271 aboard and two on the ground in a trailer park nearby, making it the worst domestic air crash in U.S. history.