A chronological history of jet airliner crashes.

May 2, 1953

Calcutta, India: Six minutes after taking off, a BOAC De Havilland Comet went down into the Indian Ocean during an intense tropical storm. All forty-three souls aboard were killed. The crash was later attributed to a structural weakness in the airframe. Witnesses claim to have observed the Comet plunging into the sea, it wings having been sheared off and the plane on fire. This marks the first fatal air crash that occurred in flight of a commercial jet airliner.

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