New Orleans, LA Lake Pontchartrain Airplane Crash, Feb 1964
AIRLINER CARRYING 58 CRASHES IN LOUISIANA.
No Survivors Found at Scene.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - An Eastern Air Lines four-engine jet carrying 58 persons on a flight from Mexico City to New York disappeared minutes after takeoff from a New Orleans stop today and crashed in Lake Pontchartrain.
There were no survivors.
The Coast Guard said it recovered parts of the wreckage including seats, communication equipment and soundproofing. Also recovered were clothing, luggage and what was described as parts of bodies.
Eastern said there were 51 passengers and a crew of seven. At least 32 of the passengers were making the through trip while at least 17 boarded in New Orleans. Fourteen were pass riding Eastern employees.
The plane was due to arrive in Atlanta at 3:59 a. m., leave there at 4:35 a. m., arrive at Dulles Airport in Washington at 5:33 a. m., leave there at 6:20 a. m. and arrive at Kennedy Airport in New York at 7:10 a. m.
The Coast Guard said parts of the debris, including insurance papers, were definitely linked with at least two passengers on the Eastern plane.
THE SPOKESMAN said one of its helicopter pilots over the wreckage area reported there were indications that the plane either exploded in the air or on impact. The debris was scattered over a wide area.
The spokesman said the site was about six miles south of the north shore of the lake, or some 20 miles north of New Orleans. It was about four miles east of the 27-mile-long Lake Pontchartrain Causeway connecting the north and south shores.
Eastern said the DC8, Flight 304, left New Orleans International Airport headed for Atlanta at 2:01 a. m. (CST) and disappeared from air traffic control tower radar nine minutes later. That was the last contact with it.
A VETERAN Eastern pilot said the jet probably reached a height of some 15,000 feet shortly after it got over the lake.
Lake Pontchartrain is some 30 miles in diameter, with its southern shore along one side of New Orleans. Marshy land surrounds much of the lake, which has an average depth of about 15 feet.
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