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Grand Canyon plane crash site designated historic

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(AP Photo/Grand Canyon National Park Service). In this Sept. 12, 2013 photo released by the Grand Canyon National Park Service, shows a National Historical Landmark plate overlooking the east end of the Grand Canyon, Ariz. (AP Photo/Grand Canyon National Park Service). In this Sept. 12, 2013 photo released by the Grand Canyon National Park Service, shows a National Historical Landmark plate overlooking the east end of the Grand Canyon, Ariz.
(AP Photo/Grand Canyon National Park Service) (AP Photo/Grand Canyon National Park Service)
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By FELICIA FONSECA
Associated Press

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - About 200 people have gathered for a ceremony marking the site of a 1956 airliner crash over the Grand Canyon as a national landmark.

Two commercial airplanes collided over the canyon in June 1956, killing all 128 people aboard in the deadliest aviation disaster of the time. The crash helped spawn major changes to improve air traffic control and radar systems and to create a federal agency to regulate it.

Grand Canyon National Park marked the designation of the crash site Tuesday as a National Historic Landmark in a ceremony overlooking the gorge where the wreckage was scattered over 1.5 square miles.

Park Rangers set up binoculars so that people could get a closer look at the buttes where the planes came crashing down. They also unveiled a plaque commemorating the crash.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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