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

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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.

PHOTO: 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)
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)

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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PHOTO: 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
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