Sunday's collision between an Aeromexico DC-9 and a light plane over Cerritos was the deadliest accident in the history of the Los Angeles International Airport and the worst air disaster in California since 144 people died in a similar tragedy in San Diego in 1978.
It was the worst U.S. air crash since 137 people were killed Aug. 2, 1985, when a Delta Airlines L-1011 Tristar, en route from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Los Angeles, crashed on landing at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
The worst previous major crash involving the Los Angeles airport took place on Jan. 18, 1969, when a United Airlines jet plunged into the Pacific off Marina del Rey, killing 37. Only five days earlier, in the first fatal accident directly connected with the airport, a Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) DC-8 plunged into the sea eight miles from shore on a landing approach in bad weather and broke in half. Fifteen died, but 30 others survived in a portion of the plane that remained afloat.
Four passengers were killed and seven injured in 1978, when several tires blew out on a Honolulu-bound Continental Airlines DC-10 as it took off from LAX. The jetliner tipped on one wing and fuel from the ruptured wing tanks ignited.