35 Years Ago 156 People Died In Michigan’s Deadliest Plane Crash
Tuesday, August 16th, 2022 marks 35 years since Northwest flight 255 bound for Arizona from Detroit crashed moments after taking off.
This is a look back to Michigan's deadliest plane crash.
(Some images and videos in this story might not be inappropriate for young kids)
35 Years Ago 155 People Died In Michigan's Deadliest Plane Crash
On the evening of August 16th, 1987 Northwest flight 255 took off from Detroit Metro Airport heading to Arizona. Tragically the flight crashed shortly after take-off around 8:46 pm EDT resulting in the deaths of all six crew members and 148 of its 149 passengers, along with two people on the ground. Miraculously there was one survivor from the plane crash.
The Sole Survivor From The Crash Of Northwest Flight 255
According to Wikipedia, a Romulus fireman found four-year-old Cecelia Cichan from Tempe, Arizona still belted in her seat, which was faced down. She was found several feet from the bodies of her mother, father, and six-year-old brother.
She sustained severe burns and fractures to her skull, collarbone, and left leg but lived and was able to recover. Ten years ago she gave her first public interview following the crash.
What Caused The Crash Of Northwest Flight 255?
The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the probable cause of the accident was the flight crew's failure to use the taxi checklist to ensure that the flaps and slats were extended for takeoff. Contributing to the accident was the absence of electrical power to the airplane takeoff warning system, which thus did not warn the flight crew that the airplane was not configured properly for takeoff. The reason for the absence of electrical power could not be determined.
Flight 255 Memorial Was Created In 1994
In memory of the victims, a black granite memorial was erected in 1994; it stands at the top of the hill at Middlebelt Road and I-94, the site of the crash. The memorial has a dove with a ribbon in its beak reading, "Their spirit still lives on"; below it is the names of those who perished in the crash.