Vault: Deadly Flight 587 crash stuns NYC 2 months after 9/11

This is how Eyewitness News covered the tragic crash in Belle Harbor, Queens, that killed 265 people on Nov. 12, 2001

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Friday, November 12, 2021
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Vault: Deadly Flight 587 crash stuns NYC 2 months after 9/11

BELLE HARBOR, Queens (WABC) -- The crash of American Airlines Flight 587 in Belle Harbor, Queens, stunned and terrified a region still reeling from the horror of 9/11 two months earlier.

In the hours after the tragedy, bridges and tunnels were shut down as authorities worked to determine whether the plane was brought down by terrorists. It turned out to be an accident but a city still grieving from 9/11 found itself in new emotional anguish.

The Airbus A300 was headed to the Dominican Republic but crashed after takeoff from Kennedy Airport, killing all 260 people on board and five people on the ground in second-deadliest aviation accident in U.S. history.

NTSB investigators said the plane's rudder system and inadequate pilot training caused the crash. Since the accident, steering systems for some planes have been redesigned.

This is extended coverage from Eyewitness News at 6 from Nov. 11, 2001, the day of the crash. Bill Ritter and Diana Williams are at the anchor desk, and reporters in the field include Jim Dolan and Joe Torres.

You can watch this installment of the Channel 7 Eyewitness News Vault here, but if you want to have a better experience, you can view this on your television set. Just make sure you add the ABC7NY app to your streaming device (Roku, Apple TV, etc.) to check out this and other episodes of "The Vault."