Just two months and one day after the 9/11 attacks in Manhattan, another tragedy struck the five boroughs when an American Airlines flight to the Dominican Republic crashed in Belle Harbor, Queens.
Now, 15 years later, the victims of the Flight 587 crash, which killed all 260 people on board and five people on the ground, were remembered during a service in the Rockaways on Saturday.
The names of the 265 victims were read during the ceremony, and a moment of silence marked the time the plane crashed just minutes after taking off from John F. Kennedy International Airport.
“We just heard the names of 265 good people. They were mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, friends, neighbors. I’m humbled to be here with you, again, for this solemn moment, 15 years to the day they were taken from us,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said during the ceremony.
The National Transportation Safety Board ruled that the crash was caused by human error. The flight crew overused a rudder mechanism to offset wake turbulence from a Japan Airlines flight that took off right before Flight 587, the agency found.
It was the second-deadliest aviation accident in both New York state and the U.S. On May 25, 1979, American Airlines Flight 191 crashed moments after taking off in Chicago. A total of 273 people, including two people on the ground, were killed in that crash.