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Air Florida Flight 90 anniversary marked by wreath laying

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On Jan. 13, 1982 Air Florida flight 90 crashed into the 14th Street Bridge just seconds after taking off from Washington National Airport in a blinding snowstorm.

Crews remove the tail section of Air Florida Flight 90 from the Potomac in January of 1982. (Photo: Associated Press)

Thirty years have passed since 78 people lost their lives when the plane went down in the icy Potomac. On Friday, their lives will be remembered at a wreath-laying ceremony.

The crash was ultimately blamed on icing conditions on the plane and pilot error. Of the 78 people who died, 74 were on the Air Florida Boeing 737 and four died on the bridge when the plane went down.

Five people on the plane survived.

Flight 90 was bound for Tampa and Ft. Lauderdale after taking off from National Airport. It had been delayed for several hours due to the storm and the temporary closure of the airport. The NTSB says that the plane wasn't properly deiced shortly before taking off and that the pilots, Larry Wheaton and Roger Pettit, had turned off the anti-ice systems for the plane's engines.

 

From the 5:30 p.m. newscast 30 years ago.

 

From the 5:30 broadcast.

 

The top story during the 6 p.m. broadcast 30 years ago.

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