Last remains from crash of Flight 587 placed in crypts

Associated Press • May 5, 2007 at 10:39 AM

NEW YORK - The last unidentified remains of people killed in the 2001 crash of an American Airlines flight to the Dominican Republic have been placed in two crypts, officials said Saturday.

Families of the 265 victims of the crash in the quiet neighborhood of Belle Harbor, Queens, were invited to a dedication ceremony today at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, said Susan Olsen, a cemetery official.

Olsen said the unidentified remains, in four caskets, were entombed Friday at a mausoleum in the cemetery.

The bodies of all the crash victims had been identified, but the medical examiner's office was left with some remains that could not be matched, said Ellen Borakove, a spokeswoman for the medical examiner.

She said that to her knowledge, these remains - 889 bone fragments and other pieces - were the last from Flight 587.

The cemetery space was purchased by the city.

Flight 587 crashed in the Belle Harbor neighborhood after taking off from John F. Kennedy International Airport. Many of the victims were Dominican-born New York residents on their way to visit the country.

The Nov. 12, 2001, crash killed 260 people on board and five people on the ground, rattling a city still shaken by the attacks on the World Trade Center just two months earlier.

The National Transportation Safety Board determined that part of the tail assembly of the Airbus A300 had fallen off, and it blamed pilot error, inadequate pilot training and overly sensitive rudder controls.

In November, on the fifth anniversary of the crash, Mayor Michael Bloomberg dedicated a memorial wall bearing the victims' names and overlooking the ocean about 15 blocks from the crash site. The $9.2 million memorial was funded with private and public money. AP-CS-05-05-07 2014EDT

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