Memorial service marks 18th anniversary of Flight 587 crash in Queens

BELLE HARBOR, Queens (WABC) -- Emotional remembrances were shared to mark 18 years since the deadly crash of American Airlines Flight 587 in Belle Harbor, Queens.

A memorial service was held Tuesday morning at 116th Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard to pay tribute to the victims of the crash.

The bells rang at 9:15 a.m., marking the moment of impact which occurred shortly after the plane took off from Kennedy Airport on Nov. 12, 2001.

All 260 people on board the flight heading to the Dominican Republic were killed, as well as five people on the ground.

Mayor Bill de Blasio gave an emotional speech at the memorial service.

"If there is comfort to be found, it is in each other," de Blasio said. "Families uniting to support each other and this community of people brought together in tragedy ... but you have built something together, a very special community of love and warmth that supports each other. And not just one day, but throughout the year."

Investigators said the plane's rudder system and inadequate pilot training caused the crash.

Since the accident, steering systems for some planes have been re-designed.

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