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The Nation

March 15, 1987

The crew of an Air Force jet tanker that crashed near Spokane, Wash., while practicing for an air show apparently died trying to avoid crashing into nearby buildings and probably saved many lives beyond the seven killed, witnesses said. "It's a miracle that we didn't lose more than seven folks," said Capt. Bob Ballew, spokesman at Fairchild Air Force Base. All six aboard the plane and one person in a car on the ground were killed when the KC-135 tanker, which had just taken off, crashed into a field near the runway in a ball of flame. The tanker and a B-52 were rehearsing for a planned May debut of an aerial group.

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