On Monday twenty first July 1919 the Wingfoot Air Specific (owned by the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Firm) crashed into the Illinois Belief and Financial savings Constructing in Chicago, with the lack of 13 lives. This was the worst Airship catastrophe within the USA till the Zeppelin Airship, Hindenburg crashed in 1937. Of the 13 who died, one was a crew member, two have been passengers while the remaining 10 have been financial institution staff within the constructing beneath.
The Wingfoot Air Specific was carrying passengers from Grant Park to the White Metropolis Amusement Park when, at an altitude of about 1200ft, the craft caught hearth above the Chicago Loop. As soon as the crew realised that the Airship was misplaced, the Pilot and the Chief Mechanic parachuted to security together with a 3rd one that broke each legs and later died in hospital.
The Illinois Belief & Financial savings Financial institution constructing on the nook of LaSalle Avenue and Jackson Boulevard, housed 150 staff who have been closing up after the times enterprise (the fireplace being reported to have began at 4:55pm) in the principle banking corridor. The primary corridor was illuminated by a big skylight and the stays of the Wingfoot Air Specific struck the banks skylight straight inflicting flaming particles to fall via to the corridor beneath. In addition to the ten staff who have been killed, 27 members of workers have been additionally reported injured.
After the crash, Chicago Metropolis Council imposed a ban on hydrogen crammed dirigibles from flying over populated elements of the town. The Airships dwelling base, Grant Park Airstrip, was additionally closed shortly after the crash.
Revealed in honor of those that misplaced their lives whereas at their work within the financial institution, in a disaster that left all officers and employes grief striken.
THE GREAT TRAGEDY
Out of the clear sky got here a mass of flaming wreckage which crashed via the large skylight of this financial institution, bringing loss of life and harm into the Illinois Belief household. An enormous dirigible crusing over the loop caught hearth a thousand ft within the air and got here speeding like a flaming comet, right down to earth. The finger of destiny had chosen the skylight of this constructing among the many a whole bunch of flat roofs surrounding, on which the dirigible was to strike.
This nice tragedy resulted within the loss of life of ten of the financial institution’s individuals and the harm of twenty-seven others, leaving a by no means to be forgotten shadow over your complete establishment. Employes and officers have been busy closing up the day’s enterprise on July twenty first. It had been an enormous day. Monday virtually invariably brings extra enterprise than different days of the week. Most of the employes already have been on their manner dwelling. These nonetheless at work have been placing the ultimate touches on the day’s work and would have departed for dwelling very shortly.
Out of the blue, as if the entire roof was caving in, there got here an enormous crash and down via the skylight descended the large, fiery blimp with its twisted iron and heavy mechanism, previous the balcony and right down to the primary flooring upon the heads of employes who have been working beneath the big skylight.
from The Columns of the Illinois Belief & Financial savings Financial institution, Chicago [special memorial issue]: 3, July 1919,