Mobile, AL DC6 plane crash, Feb 1953
Lightning May Have Caused DC6 Crash
MOBILE, Ala. (AP) - A waterspout or a bolt of lightning may have knocked a National Airlines DC6 out of the sky into the Gulf of Mexico 44 miles southeast of here Saturday.
These were two of the theories being raised as civil aeronautics and airline investigators sought an explanation today for the crash that killed possibly all the plane's 46 passengers and crewmen.
A sea-air search for 29 missing was resumed at daybreak after darkness brought a halt last night.
Relatives and friends resumed the grim, slow task of indentifying the mangled bodies of 17 dead brought here by the Coast Guard cutter Blackthorn yesterday.
Seven of the dead passengers were identified by Coroner Thomas B. Henderson:
J. W. Womer, 3015 Meute Dr., Wichita, Kan.
Mrs. M. D. Graham, Port Neches, Tex.
F. A. Thomas, 4423 Manning Lane, Dallas, Tex.
R. B. Friedman, Miami.
Mrs. Alfred C. Bergamn, St. Petersburg, Fla.
Mrs. J. W. Womer, 3015 Meuto Dr., Wichita, Kan. (tentative).
Mrs. F. Solomon, Miami Beach, Fla. (tentative).
Mobile weatherman Bill Tilson suggested the possiblility the plane could have hit a waterspout generated by changing weather conditions in the upper gulf.
Coroner Thomas B. Henderson said some of the bodies were burned without any further evidence of a general fire or explosion and this suggested the possibility the craft may have been struck by lightning.
Capt. E. J. Kershaw, vice president in charge of operations of National, suggest the plane could have encountered localized "tornado conditions" in flight.
The Big Spring Daily Herald, Big Spring, TX 15 Feb 1953