The plane apparently struck the ground in the section of the tree nursery and finally came to a halt in the middle of the field adjacent to the poultry farm. Shortly after the crash the plane was a mass of flames.
There were ninety-one (91) passengers on the plane, of whom twenty (20) were killed as a result of crash and explosion. This disaster required the implementation of the Disaster Control Plan of the institution as well as the mobilization of all resources then available on the Island.
Through the utilization of inmates and all departmental personnel available at the time, a rescue operation was put into effect for the relief of victims of the plane crash.
All survivors were taken from the immediate vicinity of the disaster and escorted to first aid stations at both the visiting room of the Penitentiary and the Rikers Island Hospital.
On or about 11 p.m. of that day, all of the survivors were transferred to the New York City mainland where they were in turn sent to various hospitals in the city.
There is no question that collectively all of the departmental personnel and inmates who were drafted for rescue operations did a remarkable job which resulted in minimizing the loss of life and relieving the sufferings of the survivors.
Everything that was done showed good control and organization on the part of all institutional personnel. It was a spirit of cooperation which extended beyond and above the normal course of duty.
The crash focused attention on our department and afforded the public an intimate glimpse into the complexities of life within a prison; the decisions that must be made by correctional personnel during critical situations and the thinking and motivations of the incarcerated population. The drama was a forceful presentation of a phase of governmental administration not too well known by the general public.
Governor Averell Harriman also granted commutation of sentence to 11 men serving definite sentences: two received a six months reduction; one workhouse and eight penitentiary definites became eligible for immediate release.
Additional Department Meritorious Awards were presented by the Mayorto 43 other employees, (Chaplains,
To List of DOC staffers honored for air crash response.
To: List of names of those aboard Northeast Airlines DC-6A Feb. 1, 1957
To The Andersons of Canada remember.
To Remembering Mario DeRosa.
To Remembering Esther Chopelas.
To CAB report on its investigation of the crash.
To: Other views, other voices: Rikers air crash
To: 1989 airplane crash into Rikers Island channel waters
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