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Yellow Plastic, Covering Bodies, Marked Tragedy Of Crash With AM-Delta Crash

August 3, 1985

GRAPEVINE, Texas (AP) _ Yellow plastic marked the tragedy of Flight 191.

Under the plastic were bodies of passengers who were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash Friday of the Delta jumbo jet inbound from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. From one vantage point after dark, perhaps 40 of the ominous yellow covers could be seen.

The jet crashed in severe weather, bouncing on a crowded rush-hour freeway then exploding.

An army of ambulances, fire trucks and police cars sped to the scene. Miraculously, there were survivors for them to take away.

Jerry Maximoff, at work at Zantop International Airlines Inc., a freight handler at the edge of the giant airport, said he talked to a survivor.

″He said he was sitting in the tail, smoking a cigarette,″ said Maximoff, who had been working about 200 yards from the crash site.

″It felt like the crew was maneuvering the plane left to right, then the next thing he knew he felt a bump, then all of a sudden he was upside down in the seat.″

The survivor ″unlatched his belt and dropped down and ran out to the field,″ said Maximoff. ″It looked like he only had a scratch on his back.″

The scene, said Maximoff, ″was flames and parts flying all over the place.″

Texas Highway 114, the northwest route from downtown Dallas to distant suburbs, was snarled.

In the middle of the road was a blackened skeleton of a car struck by the plane.

Four big pieces of the plane came to rest by water tanks just beyond the highway. Fort Worth District Fire Chief Royce Shields said it looked like the cabin of the jet hit one of the tanks and scattered.

At 10 p.m., spotlights were turned toward portions of the wreckage to aid cleanup crews.

″They’re waist deep in debris and they’re digging for bodies,″ said Shields. ″There are a few pieces in there that you can tell it was plane. The rest is just debris.″

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