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Plane crash kills 48

February 2, 2008 |  5:25 am

Feb. 2, 1958
Los Angeles

A military version of a DC-6 airliner and a patrol plane collide in midair, showering five square miles of Norwalk with flaming wreckage and bits of metal. The main portion of the C-118 plunges into a gas station at Pioneer and Firestone boulevards, careens across the street and starts a fire when it slams into a gasoline supply dump at the sheriff's substation. The P-2V comes to rest in the parking lot of the Santa Fe Springs fire station.

In addition to the victims on the two aircraft, Edith Hernandez, 23, 12303 Jersey St., is killed by falling metal when she runs outside to check on the safety of her children.

As emergency personnel from across the area converge on the scene of the disaster, thousands of spectators swarm the area, bringing the Santa Ana Freeway to a standstill.

The crash, which ultimately claimed 48 lives, prompted a congressional investigation and a Navy ban on low-level flights from Los Alamitos Naval Air Station. It is California's worst air disaster, The Times says.



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