Flight 587 victims remembered at ceremony

November 12, 2008 12:57:39 PM PST
Victims of the Flight 587 crash were remembered Wednesday at a ceremony on the seventh anniversary of the tragedy. The American Airlines flight, carrying many Dominican-born New Yorkers, crashed in the quiet neighborhood of Belle Harbor, Queens, on Nov. 12, 2001, after taking off from Kennedy International Airport.

The crash killed 260 people on board and five people on the ground. The disaster jarred a city still raw and fearful after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center two months before.

The air route between New York and the Dominican Republic was so well-known that a merengue song was written about it. Translated from Spanish, one lyric said: "How joyful it could be to go on Flight 587."

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said people also were paying their respects on Wednesday at a Flight 587 memorial in the Dominican Republic.

"Our common sadness has only strengthened the already strong ties between our nations," Bloomberg said.

The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the tail of the Airbus A300 had fallen off, and blamed pilot error, inadequate pilot training and overly sensitive rudder controls.

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