CHICAGO - Thursday marked the 50th anniversary of Chicago’s worst aviation disaster.
United Airlines Flight 553 crashed into homes outside of Midway Airport, killing 45 people.
The crash was blamed on pilot error and failure by the captain "to exercise positive flight management." But there were also speculations of sabotage, with some saying the plane was targeted because one of its passengers was the wife of a key Watergate figure, and she was carrying a huge amount of cash.
Evan Cotter had just arrived home from eighth grade and was changing in his bedroom when the plane slammed into his family's brick bungalow.
"And after that, everything in the house went horizontal. Bricks flew through the house. Broken glass. There were pieces of airplane in the house. My mother was in the kitchen at the time, and she said she saw the tail of the plane go on by," Cotter said.
Eighteen people on board the plane survived the crash.
Since the crash, landing procedures for commercial flights have changed and the runways at Midway have been extended.