Keenan Singleton Audrey Warren
American Airlines Flight 587 bound for the Dominican Republic crashed
four minutes after taking off from John F. Kennedy Airport on Monday.
Two hundred and fifty-four passengers and crewmembers, and an unknown
number of persons on the ground, were killed in the crash.
Eyewitnesses said the plane was on fire and began to fall apart in the
air before it nose-dived into a residential area of Queens, N.Y.
A nervous nation awaits word from the federal government to learn if
another battle was lost in the war on terrorism or if a mechanical malfunction
caused the plane to crash.
Either way, the American Airlines crash hammered another savage blow
against America's fragile psyche, already staggering from the heinous
terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.
The crash of the Airbus A300 could send a number of U.S. airlines already
tottering on the brink of disaster into bankruptcy, as well as many of
satellite businesses serving the airline industry.
Federal Aviation Authority spokesman Paul Takemoto said there was no
initial indication of what caused the twin-engine plane to fall from the
This incident, in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, caused Wall
Street to react by sending the Dow Jones industrial average down more than
Although early reports indicate the crash was an accident, the immediate
plunge in the stock market demonstrated the nation's fragile mood and
"Today's incident comes at a difficult time for the nation, the airline
industry and American Airlines," American Airlines Chairman Donald Carty
FBI officials said they couldn't rule out terrorism, but the crash was
being investigated as an accident.
No matter what caused Flight 587 to crash, aviation officials predict
travelers will become more wary about flying as the holiday season
Since Sept. 11, the airline industry has cut about 100,000 jobs, about
10 percent of its workforce.
Americans must persevere and endure the nervous uncertainty until the
cause of the crash is determined. As terrible as a crash caused by
mechanical failure is for everyone, it pales beside the portent of
another successful terrorist attack.
We are a sadder, wiser nation since Sept. 11, and now we must be a more
patient nation, too.