She helped my mother.”. : Reporting rain and winds, Flight 214 is advised to hold outside New Castle, Del. The first arriving emergency responder, Lt. Don Hash of the Maryland State Police, observed that the  only large recognizable piece of jetliner was a section of fuselage with about eight or 10 window frames. Knuth said that because the accident happened when she was so young, she was spared many of the details of the explosion. Required fields are marked *. Mike’s Blog About the Professional Practice of Public History. I seem to remember something about the airlines sending people to our house to keep the press out. 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The mid-air explosion of Pan Am Flight 214 over Elkton became Maryland's largest loss-of-life disaster. Accepted? Rain and thunderstorms were possible in the Mid-Atlantic area with a frontal boundary passing through in the evening. The crash site, centered in a field of the Berry Family Farm, covered a four-mile area. Your email address will not be published. We relied totally on friends and family.” “I had one English teacher who talked to me and tried to offer words of comfort, but there was no counseling for me or the other students in the school like there is now.”. Remember the crash victim’s son that we talked about earlier. Many of the families, who flew or drove hundreds of miles to remember loved ones lost in the explosion of flight 214, were halted in Elkton Sunday afternoon due to snowfall, sleet and icy road conditions. It seems so unreal now because there are so many planes struck by lightning but the CAB determined that the probable cause of this accident was lightning-induced ignition of the fuel/air mixture in the No. Her husband, John Richard Kantlehner, was a flight engineer. It was another world to travel in those days before things were so touristy.". The tragedy of the aftermath didn’t stop there. There were 73 passengers and 8 crewmembers on board. "As a child, going into your teenage years, of course you think about losing your parents," said Knuth, who was 11 at the time of the accident. Here in Elkton, a number of those firefighters and police officers who met with families have passed away since then, but at least there was an opportunity for the two groups to meet and share experiences, emotions, and feelings. Debris, pieces of the plane and oil were scattered through the field, in trees and on cars and houses. After returning to school, he received a sympathy note from a classmate. We heard so many of these stories as family members and first responders came together, talked, and reflected on the passage of 50 years since the disaster. She said he was one of 12 people whose remains came back intact, aside from a severed leg. This horrifying disaster, the worst in Cecil County history, is something that is seared into the collective memory of the community. Knuth said her mother found out about the crash on the 11 o'clock news and alerted her two older sisters and their neighbors. Thanks Edwin. She said she and her younger brother slept through the night and weren't told until the next morning. Election Day in Harford: Steady stream of voters throughout the day as political polarization and COVID-19 pandemic drive turnout, ‘It’s a big deal’: Carroll County voters making their voices heard on Election Day. At the end of his career, however, he was looking for flights closer to home to be with his wife and four children, Knuth said, adding, that is how her father ended up flying the New York to San Juan route. No one from the airline came to us or offered us assistance. "I was driving to the airport and it was pouring rain and I was listening to the radio," said Kantlehner, who recalled driving to pick up her husband after work while their eight children were back at home. They then broke the news to the pilot’s 16-year-old daughter (Carol). There are folders of information dealing with this event for families or anyone from the general public to look over at the Historical Society of Cecil County. Twenty-seven saw fire preceded by lightning with a very short interval before the fire was visible. The plane, a Boeing 707, returning from San Juan, Puerto Rico, made a stop in Baltimore to refuel before continuing to Philadelphia to drop off the last of its passengers. One of the arriving firefighters’ peers at the central point of impact, a crater on Delancey Road Source: Singerly Fire Company Museum