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Pan Am plane crashes in Kenner 30 years ago

Published: Jul. 9, 2012 at 9:22 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 12, 2012 at 9:45 AM CDT
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Pan Am Flight 759 crashed on July 9, 1982 shortly after takeoff from the New Orleans Airport in...
Pan Am Flight 759 crashed on July 9, 1982 shortly after takeoff from the New Orleans Airport in Kenner.

KENNER, LA (WAFB) - Monday marks the 30th anniversary of a plane crash in Kenner that killed 153 people.

Pan American World Airways Flight 759 took off from the New Orleans airport right into the face of a microburst thunderstorm.

Half-a-mile from the airport in Kenner, the 727 jet was rolled nearly upside down and crashed into a neighborhood.

All 145 people on board died, along with another eight people on the ground.

Seven of those who perished in the crash were from the Baton Rouge area.

Flight 759 struck 13 solidly built houses in Kenner at a speed of 171 miles an hour.

Six of the houses were destroyed and another five were badly damaged.

The impact from hitting the ground and those homes ripped the plane apart.

WWL spoke with some of the first responders on the scene that day.

They described the devastation they witnessed first-hand.

All of the dead are still memorialized at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church near the neighborhood where they all died on July 9, 1982.

A memorial service will be held there Monday at 3 p.m.

Copyright 2012 WAFB. All rights reserved.