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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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History for Chron

Nov. 18, 2022 Updated Fri., Nov. 18, 2022 at 4 p.m.

An airliner carrying mostly U.S. Army servicemen headed home for Thanksgiving crashed shortly after takeoff from Boeing Field, killing at least 27 of those on board.

Some 47, including the three-man pilot crew, survived. One of the missing persons was reserve pilot, 29-year-old Edward McGrath.

McGrath’s wife and three children were on board the crash but escaped with only minor injuries.

Witnesses said the chartered plane, which was bound for Chicago, had at least one engine sputtering before the plane plowed into a hillside in a residential area.

The airplane broke apart and exploded. A large chunk of the plane hit a home where a mother and her five children were sleeping. They escaped unharmed.

Eugene Casey, 19, of Chicago, said he was unsure how he escaped. “I walked right through the fire. I didn’t think I would make it.”

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