July 20, 1997 in Nation/World

Six Die When Private Planes Collide Over Lake Michigan

Compiled From Wire Services

Two private planes collided over Lake Michigan on Saturday, smashing into the water within sight of revelers on Chicago’s beaches and killing six people on board.

“They hit each other, pow, then they blew up,” said Roderick Binico, who was picnicking along the lakefront. “They fell fast.”

He said the planes were coming directly at each other low in the sky when they collided.

The search for survivors was called off after rescuers dragged six bodies from the water, three from each plane, acting fire Commissioner Ed Altman said.

The planes crashed about 6 p.m., about 60 yards offshore and seven miles south of the Loop.

One of the aircraft was a propeller plane, said Coast Guard spokesman Greg Fly. Authorities did not describe the other plane.

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