By John F. Di Leo -
On May 11, 1996, 105 passengers boarded a ValuJet flight in Miami, bound for Atlanta. They never made it.
Shortly after takeoff, a small explosion in the airtight cargo hold developed into a fire, which should have burned out quickly, but didn’t. The 27-year-old plane’s crew of five, and all 105 passengers, were killed as the plane plummeted into the Everglades.
Many chalked this up to the dangers of plane travel and the poor maintenance record of ValuJet, which, as a budget carrier, certainly gave plausible grounds for the argument… but it wasn’t a lack of maintenance that caused this crash; it was maintenance by the wrong maintenance crew.
The plane didn’t crash because of bad upkeep or failed systems or old or broken parts. It crashed because a maintenance worker put a box of Hazardous Materials in the cargo hold, and, apparently out of sheer ignorance, did everything wrong.