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The Accident

Just minutes after taking off from Miami International Airport for a 110-minute trip to Atlanta last May 11, the co-pilot of ValuJet Flight 592 told air traffic controllers that the plane was having an emergency and needed to return to Miami.

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It never made it. Instead, the jet crashed, nose first at more than 500 miles per hour into the muck and sawgrass of the Everglades west of the city.

Eerily, there was very little debris at the site to indicate this was the final resting place of a 57-ton jumbo jetliner. There was only an inky black hole, about half the size of a football field.

Divers, wearing special gear to protect them from the perils of the swamp, spent the next month in the south Florida heat, dragging debris from the muck and looking for the remains of the 110 people who had been on board.

After a painstaking search, divers found the plane's voice and data recorders, which pointed to fire as the cause of the disaster.

 

Related stories:

Valujet halfbanner The Accident The Airline The Investigation
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