Photo: Courtesy / NYC Mayoral Office
The City of New York recalled this Friday how twenty years ago, the second deadliest plane crash in the country claimed the lives of 265 people, 90% of them of Dominican origin, just two months after the Big Apple was still trying to recover from the bloody attacks on the Twin Towers.
“All this time has passed and we still can’t believe it. That tragedy still hurts us “Mayor Bill de Blasio said at the ceremony held at the elevated memorial in Belle Harbor in Queens, right at the site where American Airlines Flight 587 crashed on November 12, 2001.
“We remember that even in the midst of the pain, the encouragement of the neighbors who came at that time to try to help. They were the first to respond, the people from the neighborhood who tried to help, from that precise moment, “he added.
This year’s ceremony was marked by lots of rain and a strong breeze, but even so, that did not discourage hundreds of families of the victims to approach a site that two decades ago became one of the scenes bloodiest that the city has lived.
Such is the case of the quisqueyana Belkys Lora, who today is in front of the Flight 587 Memorial Committee and he lost his brother Roberto, 44, when he flew to Santo Domingo that day after having enjoyed a season in New York with his family.
“Even today is a very painful day, hearing the names of all these victims and bringing them flowers is a ritual that as long as we live we will do it with love ”, Belkys explained excitedly to local media.
!It was frightening!
This time the Father Eric Cruz of St. John Chrysostom Catholic Parish from the Bronx offered a prayer for the deceased: “Their absence hurts us, but the Lord guarantees our hope.”
The ceremony was also attended by accompany his mother the young Victor Feliz, 28 years old, who lost his uncle in the accident, when he was just a child.
“I was very small. But I still remember as if it were yesterday when we found out at home that a plane going to the island had crashed. Since several flights leave every day, it was hoped that my uncle did not take exactly that one. !It was frightening! My family still hasn’t gotten over it ”, relates the university student who resides in Inwood.
The accident, which devastated the Dominican community in New York, occurred two minutes after the Airbus A300-600 It will take off from John F. Kennedy International Airport at 9:15 am, bound for Las Americas International Airport in the Dominican Republic.
The deadly tragedy brought revisions to pilot training programs, and Airbus made improvements to its aircraft design in an effort to make air travel safer.
Federal investigations found that the aerial failure was caused by “sensitivity” of some of the parts of the aircraft called “directional rudder”.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.