About Me

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My wife Toni and I live in the beautiful Catskill mountains, where we love to spend time with family & friends. I enjoy working in the gardens,reading, hanging out at the lake and enjoying the bounty of our lives. In 2007 I started my own business and named it after our dog Spencer. "Life's been good to me so far"

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

WOR TV Tower Plane Crash of 1956

One of my first memories was of the WOR TV Tower crash in 1956. The tower was built in 1949 and was built right next door to our apartment building, 7111 Palisade Ave in North Bergen, NJ. My apt. is the black building in the photo below, bottom right. The tower was 740 ft tall and stood 1040 feet above sea level. At night, red neon lights on the tower blinked WOR.

At the time it was built, the tower was 10th largest man made structure in the world. It always scared me.
Here I am with my godmother Carole in front of our apartment building with the tower behind us. This was taken May 1953.

On November 8th 1955, a small plane fit the tower in a heavy fog,the plane coasted 10 blocks and crashed into the top floor of an apartment building. The pilot and two passengers died as well as three ladies in the building. One lady jumped to her death because of the flames. The plane's engine landed in my future grammar school's play yard. Seven years later we would play on the cracked concrete where the engine landed.

I clearly remember our neighbors knocking on our door and telling us we had to evacuate the building. Everyone in a five block radius had to evacuate, because there was a real threat that tower would come crashing down.
We packed up and stayed at my Aunt Bertie's house in Wurtsboro for about a week until it was deemed safe. I remember it was so strange to see our neighborhood in the newspapers and on TV

Here's a picture of the tower from the west side of NYC the day after the crash. It's amazing how tall the tower was and that the town would have let it be constructed in a residential area. By 1957 the tower was torn down completely.


Anonymous said...

2 women died in the apt, not 3.



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Health officials haven't revealed more details about the young man or whether he had an underlying health condition. The majority of serious illness and deaths have been seen in old, already sick men.

Anonymous said...

I'm assuming your "future school" was IHM. Did the engine land in the alley on the 76th Street side?

I attended IHM K-7. We played a version of soccer with used milk (or that orange crap) cartons in that alley during recess. Those 1/2 pints the school sold.

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Anonymous said...

Enjoy reading your article but a few of your facts are wrong ......only four people died the pilot and passenger, the woman who lived in the apartment that the plane hit and The woman who panicked and against the husband wishes jumped out the window I live at 74th and palisade from 1956 to 1973......today I was talking to a pilot friend of mine and I remembered about this crash and we googled it and we came across your article along with the original from the AP