On May 25, 1979, American Airlines Flight 191 departed from O’Hare Airport for Los Angeles. While accelerating on the runway, one of the underwing engines detached from the DC-10. The flight was airborne for 31 seconds before crashing into a field across Touhy Avenue and bursting into flames, killing all 271 on board plus two people on the ground.

Marking the 40th anniversary of the deadliest passenger aircraft crash on US soil, several hundred people gathered at Lake Park in Des Plaines, the site of a permanent memorial to those who perished that day. At 3:04PM, a bell was stuck 31 times, once for each second the ill-fated flight was in the air. The names of all who died were read, and two Chicago FD ARFF units then released four bursts of water over the memorial, representing each decade that has past.

Chicago FD ARFF 658 Oshkosh Striker 3000

Larry Shapiro photo

Flight 191 memorial

Larry Shapiro photo

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Larry Shapiro photo

Flight 191 memorial

Larry Shapiro photo

speaking at the Flight 191 memorial

Larry Shapiro photo

Flight 191 memorial

Larry Shapiro photo

Chicago FD ARFF units water salute

Larry Shapiro photo

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