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From the Archives: Aeromexico Flight 498 crashes in Cerritos

1986 Aeromexico crash
Aug. 31, 1986: The smoldering ruins of homes mark the area of Cerritos where an Aeromexico jetliner fell to earth.
(Joe Kennedy/Los Angeles Times)

On Aug. 31, 1986, Aeromexico Flight 498, a Douglas DC-9, flying from Mexico City to Los Angeles International Airport, collided with a Piper PA-28 Archer over Cerritos. Eighty-two people died — 67 aboard the two aircraft and 15 on the ground.

fa_403_AeromexicoCrash6.jpg
Aug. 31, 1986: Covered human remains and debris at the crash site in Cerritos of the Aeromexico DC-9 jetliner.
(Michael Edwards/Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles Times staff writer Ted Thackrey Jr. reported immediately after the disaster. Here’s an excerpt from his article, which appeared in the Sept. 1, 1986, Times:

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“The crash occurred at 11:55 a.m., and authorities identified the downed airliner as Aeromexico Flight 498, which was about to land at Los Angeles International Airport after a flight from Mexico City with stops in Guadalajara, Loreto and Tijuana.

“Its main passenger cabin crashed upside down and exploded in a residential neighborhood near the corner of Carmenita Road and 183rd Street in Cerritos, damaging houses on Holmes Avenue, Reva Circle and Ashworth Place.

“The cause of the disaster was not immediately determined, but eyewitnesses said they saw the smaller airplane crash into the tail section of the jetliner.

“Airline spokesman Guy Arriola said 58 passengers and six crew members were aboard the DC-9 when it went down about 20 miles east of the airport. Three people were reported to have been on board the smaller airplane, which crashed in an empty school yard about two blocks from the wreckage of the airliner.”

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This post originally was published on Aug. 30, 2011.

Aug. 31, 1986: Wreckage from the small plane that collided with Aeromexico Flight 498.
Aug. 31, 1986: Firefighters and investigators examine wreckage of the small plane that collided with Aeromexico Flight 498.
(Thomas Kelsey/Los Angeles Times)

Aug. 31, 1986: Firefighters mop up embers from burned-out home and aircraft pieces.
Aug. 31, 1986: Firefighters mop up embers from burned-out home and aircraft pieces.
(Michael Edwards/Los Angeles Times)

Aug. 31, 1986: A deputy stands amid debris on Holmes Avenue after the jetliner crash in Cerritos.
Aug. 31, 1986: A deputy stands amid debris on Holmes Avenue after the jetliner crash in Cerritos.
(Thomas Kelsey/Los Angeles Times)

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Aug. 31, 1986: A woman, who collapsed while watching rescue efforts in Cerritos, is wheeled from the scene.
Aug. 31, 1986: A woman, who collapsed while watching rescue efforts on Reve Circle, is wheeled from the scene.
(Michael Edwards/Los Angeles Times)


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