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Throwback: 1987 Indianapolis Ramada Inn plane crash

Posted at 6:45 AM, Oct 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-19 06:45:36-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- Thirty years have passed since tragedy struck near the Indianapolis International Airport.

On October 20th, 1987, an Air Force jet attempting to make an emergency landing, crashed into a bank and then a hotel near the airport, killing ten people.

The tragedy began to unfold early that morning during pilot Maj. Bruce Teagarden’s flight from Pittsburgh to Las Vegas. While near the Ohio border, Teagarden reported an engine problem and headed to Indianapolis to make an emergency landing.

Cloud cover hindered Tegarden’s landing and he overshot the runway. The jet clipped a bank and then crashed into the Airport Ramada, engulfing the building in flames.

Witnesses say they saw the plane having trouble before the crash.

"We saw a big ball of fire," one witness said. "Everything was shattering around. We got under the table. I grabbed my briefcase and ran out the back door of the hotel."

Teagarden successfully ejected from the aircraft before the crash.

The charred remnants of the hotel stood for two years before being demolished. A parking lot is all that remains at the crash site.

Click the video player above to watch RTV6's coverage of the event. 

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