Compiled by Reference Librarians Ellen O'Brien
and Lyle Benedict
1919, July 21: Dirigible (Balloon) Crash
Two passengers, a mechanic and 10 employees of the Illinois Trust and Savings Bank died when the dirigible Winged Foot Express burned and fell through the skylight of the bank. The craft had been conveying passengers between Grant Park and the White City Amusement Park on the South Side, when it caught fire at an altitude of 1,200 feet above downtown.
The pilot and chief mechanic parachuted to safety. Another passenger parachuted, broke both legs and died later. The other occupants of the balloon descended with the craft to their deaths. The City Council immediately proposed regulations banning the flying of flammable gas balloons over the populated parts of the city.
Chicago Daily News Almanac. 1920. p.950.
Chicago Daily Tribune. June 22,
Released 1996, Last Updated: 06/2001