1956 airliner crash over Grand Canyon that helped spur major safety changes is marked historic


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FILE - In this July 9, 1956 file photo, nearly four hundred relatives and friends of the 70 people who died in the crash of a TWA Super-Constellation over the Grand Canyon June 30, 1956 attend a mass funeral service in Flagstaff, Ariz. Sixty-seven caskets, three of the identified dead having been returned at relatives request to their homes, will be lowered into a common grave. On Tuesday, July 8, 2014, the Grand Canyon National Park will mark the designation of the crash site as a National Historic Landmark in a ceremony overlooking the gorge where the wreckage was scattered over 1.5 square miles. (AP Photo/David F. Smith, File)


FILE - This July 2, 1956, file photo, a butte overlooks the confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado Rivers in Grand Canyon, Ariz., where a United Airlines UAL DC 7 luxury airliner smashed and burned after a collision with a TWA Super Constellation. Bits of wreckage plummeted down the cliff into the river below. The crash spurred improvements to the air traffic control and radar systems, and led to the creation of the Federal Aviation Administration. On Tuesday, July 8, 2014, the Grand Canyon National Park will mark the designation of the crash site as a National Historic Landmark in a ceremony overlooking the gorge where the wreckage was scattered over 1.5 square miles. (AP Photo/Los Angeles Times, Bill Murphy) NO FORNS; NO SALES; MAGS OUT; ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER OUT; LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS OUT; INLAND VALLEY DAILY BULLETIN OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT, TV OUT


FILE - This July 3, 1956 file photo, a man, lower center, stands near small pieces of wreckage from the crash of TWA Super-Constellation on June 30, 1956, killing 70 people. The burned spot is about 200 feet high and a 100 feet wide in Grand Canyon, Ariz. The crash spurred improvements to the air traffic control and radar systems, and led to the creation of the Federal Aviation Administration. On Tuesday, July 8, 2014, the Grand Canyon National Park will mark the designation of the crash site as a National Historic Landmark in a ceremony overlooking the gorge where the wreckage was scattered over 1.5 square miles. (AP Photo/David F. Smith, File)


FILE - In this July 1, 1956, file photo, Palen Hudgin, right, shows his brother, Henry, where the two planes crashed on June 30, 1956 killing 128 people in the Grand Canyon. The crash spurred improvements to the air traffic control and radar systems, and led to the creation of the Federal Aviation Administration. On Tuesday, July 8, 2014, the Grand Canyon National Park will mark the designation of the crash site as a National Historic Landmark in a ceremony overlooking the gorge where the wreckage was scattered over 1.5 square miles. (AP Photo/File)


FILE - In this July 7, 1956 file photo, Anton Spinas, leader of Swiss climbers, top, tests ropes strung across steep chasm where wreckage of United Airlines UAL DC-7 lays strewn in Grand Canyon. On Tuesday, July 8, 2014, the Grand Canyon National Park will mark the designation of the crash site as a National Historic Landmark in a ceremony overlooking the gorge where the wreckage was scattered over 1.5 square miles. (AP Photo/Pool, File)


FILE - In this July 5, 1956 file photo, reporter Al Thrasher inspects the wreckage of a United Airlines UAL DC-7, which collided into a TWA Constellation on June 30, 1956, killing all 128 persons on board both planes, after it was brought out of the Grand Canyon. On Tuesday, July 8, 2014, the Grand Canyon National Park will mark the designation of the crash site as a National Historic Landmark in a ceremony overlooking the gorge where the wreckage was scattered over 1.5 square miles. (AP Photo/David F. Smith, File)


FILE - This July 5, 1956 file photo shows the view from across the Grand Canyon, where an Army helicopter was to drop one of the mountain climbers who was trying to reach the wreckage of a United Airline UAL DC-7 that crashed after colliding with a TWA Constellation. The crash spurred improvements to the air traffic control and radar systems, and led to the creation of the Federal Aviation Administration. On Tuesday, July 8, 2014, the Grand Canyon National Park will mark the designation of the crash site as a National Historic Landmark in a ceremony overlooking the gorge where the wreckage was scattered over 1.5 square miles. (AP Photo/David F. Smith, File)


In this Nov. 16, 2008 photo provided by the Grand Canyon National Park Service shows the Grand Canyon National Park National Historic Landmark nomination field team documenting and recording the United Airlines impact site at the east end of the Grand Canyon. Two commercial airplanes, United 718 and TWA flight crashed on June 30, 1956 over the Grand Canyon, killing all 128 people aboard in one of the deadliest aviation disasters in the U.S. On Tuesday, July 8, 2014, the Grand Canyon National Park will mark the designation of the crash site as a National Historic Landmark in a ceremony overlooking the gorge where the wreckage was scattered over 1.5 square miles. (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. Two commercial airplanes, United Flight 718 and TWA Flight 2 crashed on June 30, 1956 over the Grand Canyon, killing all 128 people aboard in one of the deadliest aviation disasters in the U.S. On Tuesday, July 8, 2014, the Grand Canyon National Park will mark the designation of the crash site as a National Historic Landmark in a ceremony overlooking the gorge where the wreckage was scattered over 1.5 square miles. (AP Photo/Grand Canyon National Park Service)


FLAGSTAFF, Arizona — 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.

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