No Utahns were among the 13 people who died in Wednesday's fiery crash of Delta Flight 1141 at Dallas-Forth Worth International Airport, airline officials confirmed Thursday.
During an early morning press conference, Fred Rollins, regional marketing director for Delta in Salt Lake City, said the crash's death toll now stands at 13 - 12 of whom have been identified - but includes no Utah passengers.Rollins said five Utahns were injured in the crash and two remained hospitalized Thursday morning.
James Fuchs, 54, Farmington, Utah, was in stable condition Thursday at Harris Methodist H.E.B. Hospital in Bedford, Texas. Brad McClary, 34, Sandy, was listed in stable condition at Methodist Medical Center in Dallas.
Treated and released from Baylor Medical Center in Grapevine, Texas, were: Damon Berry, 37, Sandy; Russell Guttu, 24, Salt Lake City; and Dennis Selvage, 43, West Valley City.
Nearly 100 people, many leaping through thick smoke and blazing jet fuel, survived the crash of the Boeing 727 that broke open and burned during takeoff Wednesday morning.
Speculation is centering on engine trouble as investigators and manufacturers' representatives tried to determine the cause of the crash.
"Why? Why did it happen? That's the question we have to answer now," Delta spokesman Bill Berry said Thursday at a briefing in Atlanta.
Investigators are looking closely at the left rear engine as the possible cause of the crash.
Lee Dickinson, a spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board, said
he "black box" flight and data recorders from the Boeing 727-200 were shipped to agency headquarters in Washington, D.C.
"We will start reading (them) out today," said NTSB spokesman Ted Lopatkiewicz in Washington, adding that a transcript of the voice recorder would be released within 60 days. The data recorder captures technical data such as air speed, rates of climb and tilt.
So far, Dickinson said in Dallas, the only suggested cause of Wednesday's crash was a problem with one of the jetliner's three Pratt & Whitney engines.
"We're obviously going to be taking a hard look at the power plants (engines), but we're not going to look at them any more or any less than any other facet of the plane," Dickinson said. "Our investigation will be a slow and tedious process, but we'll get the job done."
Dickinson said that unlike the last Delta crash at the airport - Flight 191 in which 137 people were killed on Aug. 2, 1985 - investigators will be able to question flight crew members and the many survivors.
Survivors of Wednesday's disaster suffered burns as they crawled or jumped through gaping holes in the fuselage and clambered over red-hot wings to safety as black smoke billowed three stories high, witnesses said.
"You heard the thing crumple, so you knew you were going to crash the whole time," said passenger Penn Waugh, a lawyer from Dallas. "You were just looking for a way to get out of the plane. You're hoping you weren't going to die."
Ninety-seven passengers and a crew of seven were listed aboard the aircraft, en route to Salt Lake City, but the exact count was uncertain because babies were not included on passenger lists. The flight originated in Jackson, Miss.
Nearly two dozen investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board converged on the crash site. Spokesmen for Boeing and for Pratt & Whitney, manufacturer of the plane's three engines, said they would also send investigators.
Witnesses said there appeared to have been a fire or explosion in an engine on takeoff.