Families honor 15th anniversary of ValuJet crash in Everglades

Earlier this week our Miami personal injury blog discussed the importance of following regulations and guidelines when it comes to manufacturing, maintaining and operating airplanes. Accidents involving airplanes can be complex and can take months to investigate. If a manufacturer, maintenance worker or airline is found to be negligent of a safety concern the individual or company could be held liable for the aviation accident.

Yesterday, many families honored the 15th anniversary of the tragic ValuJet crash in the Everglades. The crash is remembered as Florida’s deadliest aviation accident in which 110 people were killed. Those who gathered at the memorial of the crash site remembered their loved ones who died in the 1996 accident.

An FBI agent who was in charge of investigating the fatal crash was also present at the memorial service. Her efforts in the investigation helped to convict a maintenance contractor who was responsible for the tragic event.

Fifteen years ago, ValuJet Flight 592 took off from the Miami International Airport. Minutes after takeoff, the cockpit and cabin of the plane began to fill with smoke. The flight crew attempted an emergency landing, but the plane crashed in the Everglades at 400 mph. Few remains were ever discovered in the wreckage. Now 110 concrete columns serve as a reminder of how many lives were lost that day.

Investigations of the crash revealed that 140 volatile oxygen-generating canisters were on the plane, but the canisters were not properly packaged for the flight. In 1999, a maintenance contractor was found guilty of causing the crash. The company had violated hazardous materials regulations and failed to properly train its employees. If the canisters had been properly packaged and stored on the plane by the contractor, the crash would have never occurred.

Although the company was later held responsible for the accident, one couple whose son was killed in the fiery crash commented that their son’s death “has left a void in our lives.” Many who have lost a loved one in any type of accident often feel this way. It is one thing to mourn the death of a loved one, but it is devastating for one to always know that the loss of a life could have been prevented.

Source:Orlando Sentinel: “ValuJet crash into Everglades that killed 110 is remembered,” Mike Clary, 11 May 2011