NEW YORK -- Fifty years ago, two commercial airliners collided one mile above New York City, raining down destruction on a busy Brooklyn neighborhood. Victims' remains bloodied the snow after one jet hit the street at 200 mph, killing everyone aboard and six people on the ground.
The Dec. 16, 1960, crash of a United jet and a TWA propeller plane was the worst aviation disaster to date, killing 134 people, including 128 people on both planes. In its wake it left a legacy of improved air safety; it was first crash in which investigators made extensive use of so-called black boxes and it spurred a revamping of the air traffic control system to prevent future tragedies.
Photos of the crash show the broken United Air Lines DC-8 resting on Seventh Avenue, the main commercial strip of Brooklyn's Park Slope neighborhood. At least 10 buildings were destroyed including a funeral home, a laundry and the Pillar of Fire Church. The dead included a garbage collector and two men selling Christmas trees.