Ste. Therese De Blainville, QB Airliner Crashes, Nov 1963
TCA CRASH KILLS 118 -- NONE SURVIVES AIR DISASTER.
JET PLOUGHS INTO QUEBEC SWAMP LEAVING DEATH, WRECKAGE.
Ste. Therese De Blainville, Que. (CP) -- Scores of mud-caked police and others worked tirelessly amid death and destruction as a rainy, grey dawn broke Saturday over the Laurentian countryside where a Trans-Canada Air Lines DC-8F jet dived into the ground and carried 118 persons to a fiery death.
Hastily erected lights disclosed an eerie scene, pieces of human bodies, half-buried personal belongings and shattered bits of what had been a sleek airliner.
There were no survivors of TCA's ill-fated flight No. 831, which took off from Montreal's Dorval airport for Toronto at 6:28 p.m. Friday and four minutes later plowed into a virtual quagmore near this town 20 miles north of Montreal.
The dead numbered 111 passengers and seven crew members.
There were 70 from the Toronto area, five from Western Canada, one from New Brunswick, one from Brooklyn, N.Y., one believed from Port Washington, N.Y., and one whose next of kin address was listed as Bombay, India.
The crash was the worst in Canadian aviation history and the second worst single-plane disaster in civilian world flying.
Pieces of bodies were gathered up and placed in rubber sheets and blankets to await transportation to a morgue set up in a barracks builring at nearby Camp Bouchard.
In the glare of the floodlights, arms, legs and torsos could be seen in trees through which the giant liner tore to the ground. A human hand, a ring on a finger, could be seen a few yards from the plane wreckage, sticking out of the mud.
But, as dawn came, there was little that could be recognized as a plane -- only shattered pieces and twisted metal. One appeared to be the nose of the plane.
In its death dive the plane dug a huge crater in the soggy ground. From the top of the crater part of a uniformed body could be seen in one section of the half buried piece of wreckage.
Investigators were under way but there was no immediate indicatioin of what caused the sudden crash.
At dawn Rev. ARTHUR GAREAU, Roman Catholic Chaplain of the Montreal General Hospital, stood beside the crater and said last rites. A single tongue of fire still rose from the wreckage.
A guard of about 500 RCMP officers stood around the crater.
Workmen dug a ditch about the perimeter of the crater to allow surface water to drain off, pending installation of a pump to remove water from the crater itself.
Swarms of spectators, drawn to the town by news of the crash, thinned out during the night.
Right fell heavily.
Police organized their forces before dawn to keep spectators away.
Highway road blocks were set up five miles each way from the crash area. Motorists who could not show identification that would permit them passing the blocks were directed to by-passing routes.
The airliner dived into the field -- already a mass of mire from Friday's heavy rain -- about halfway between Highway 11 and an expressway and 800 feet from a row of houses that line the highway.
One of the first tasks was to get a solid roadway to the crash scene through the deep mud. During the night bulldozers, tractors and trucks loaded with gravel were brought in.
The crater made by the plane was about 30 yards square and at least six feet deep.
Trees near the crater that were not directly hit bore few scars. They leaned outward from the crater, as if bent by the explosion, but eyewitnesses could not agree whether the aircraft exploded in the air or on impact.
One of them described the explosion as "like an atomic bomb." A huge red ball of fire burst into the air.
MRS. AIME BERTHIAUME, whose house is along Highway 11 near the crash scene, said she was in her kitchen "when I heard a terrible explosion and saw a high ball of fire in the air."
"The plane crashed just about right away after that," she said.
But her son ALLAN, 21, said he heard the "swooshing" sound of the jet before "it hit the ground and exploded, sending a huge ball of fire into the air."
President GORDON R. McGREGOR of TCA said it would be difficult to determine the cause of the crash.
Investigators normally can piece together what happened by picking up a limited amount of wreckage, he said, but "I am not cheerful about the possibilities of getting information from these parts because the breakup is so severe."
Another TCA official said there was no question of sabotage in the disaster nor was there any confirmation of an explosion before the ill-fated plane hit the ground.
At least 300 soldiers were stationed around the still smouldering wreckage to ensure that everything was left intact.
This followed removal of some wreckage by the curious who tied up traffic along three-lane Highway 11 for at least five miles in either direction.
A search of houses in the area brought out some pieces of wreckage taken as souvenirs.
A little one-storey bungalow farmhouse occupied by FERNAND GUILBEAULT, his wife and seven childen quickly was commandeered as a temporary headquarters pending establishment of a more complete setup in Notre Dame de l'Assomption Roman Catholic School in Ste. Therese.
Extra telephone lines were being installed to handle the gathering of evidence and information on the human remains today.
Most bodies were so badly smashed that identification was considered by one TCA official to be hopeless.
He said that in some similar crashes, relatives had agreed to a mass burial of the victims on the spot.
To reach the scene from Highway 11, working crews had to slosh through mud about knee deep in places. A continuing cold rain fell through the late hours of Friday night and early today.
An unidentified provincial police officer waded into the crater and recovered what appeared to be the aircraft's log book.
TCA officials said early today it was not known whether searchers had salvaged the plane's flight recorder -- important in determining exactly what happened before the crash.
HERE IS LIST OF CRASH VICTIMS.
Montreal (CP) -- Following is the official list of crew members and passengers killed Friday in the TCA DC-8 crash:
Capt. JACK D. SNIDER, 47, Toronto.
First Officer HARRY J. DYCK, 35, Toronto.
Second Officer EDWARD B. BAXTER, 29, Toronto.
Purser JAMES E. ZIRNIS, 24, Toronto.
Stewardess KATHLEEN PATRICIA CREIGHTON, 23, Veteran, Alta.
Stewardess LINDA SLAGHT, 22, Toronto.
Stewardess LORNA JEAN WALLINGTON, 21, Calgary.
New Brunswick (1)
D. O. TURNBULL, Rothesay.
T. BUTCHER, Dorval.
MR. and MRS. J. EVERY.
MR. and MRS. F. M. FITZPATRICK.
MISS J. GRACE.
DR. FRED HAGERMAN, Montreal and Belleville.
MR. and MRS. T. HOLM.
MR. and MRS. S. PANTELL.
MR. and MRS. A. ROY.
G. SULLIVAN, 5985 Terrebonne Ave.
N. TOMINGANS, 18 Thirteenth Ave., Roxboro.
MRS. E. WINGHAM.
T. ADAMSON, Dundas.
J. ALLETSON, Burlington.
T. E. DUNFIELD, 1165 Marcin St., Sarnia.
A. T. GIRWOOD, Guelph.
K. E. GRANT, Hamilton.
MRS. H. GREGOIRE, St. Catharines.
E. W. HALEY, Windsor.
J. K. HEAD, 1923 Wildwood St., Sarnia.
S. JEFFRIES, Galt.
MURRAY KILLION, Kitchener.
E. P. LEWIS, 1104 Bel Air St., Sarnia.
R. LINKE, 218 Houghton St., Hamilton.
J. W. MILLSAP, Burlington.
T. H. MURRAY, 1351 Egmond Drive, Sarnia.
J. M. PAGE, 140 Erie St., Leamington.
A. H. PRITCHARD, 75 Dakin Ave., Lodno.
C. SCHENKE, Guelph.
Capt. J. SCOTT, Albertsville.
H. SMITH, 852 Denmark St., Sarnia.
D. TURNER, Brampton.
G. WARD, Burlington.
S. WOZNIAK, Guelph.
G. WHITMORE, 280 Bay St. S., Hamilton.
R. H. CROSS, 232 Douglas Drive.
H. F. DICKSON, 27 Glenroy Ave.
C. R. ELDORD.
C. J. ENRIGHT.
Det. KENNETH EVANS.
CECIL S. FINKLER.
R. J. GILCHRIST.
F. GOSTICK, 22 Dimple Field Place.
C. GOTTSCHALK, 8 Milepost Place, Leaside.
G. A. GRIFFITHS.
E. J. HANSEN, 25 Bedford Rd.
R. B. HARRIS.
W. M. HORROCKS.
V. JANZEN, 116 Pickering St.
J. C. KING.
MISS E. C. LAWRENCE, Learnington St.
D. LOVE, 27 Towell Ave.
R. MILLIUS, 225 Donnelly Drive.
F. W. MOGFORD, 1 Limerick Ave.
A. PHILLIPS, Port Credit.
D. W. POLLOCK.
W. W. SIMMONS.
A. S. SLAPSYS.
E. B. SMITH, Agincourt.
J. F. SMITH.
R. M. STEVENS.
S. J. SZOSTAK.
S. W. WORSLEY, 15 Dunlace Drive.
F. W. BAMFORD, 352 Queenston St., Winnipeg
G. E. THOMAS, 167 Waverley St., Winnipeg.
K. HANSON, 54 Pine St., Edmonton.
R. KERNE, 1491 East 18th St., Brooklyn, N.Y.
No Address (2)
N. MASTER, next of kin, MR. FARFEL, Bombay, India.
MRS. S. HANKOVSZKY, next of kin, DR. C. H. HANKOVSZKY, Box 72 Port Washington, N.Y.
Winnipeg Free Press Manitoba 1963-11-30
Researched and Transcribed by Stu Beitler. Thank you, Stu!