Transcribed from the St. Petersburg Times, St. Petersburg, FL, December 1, 1947, page 1:
Alaskan Airline Crash Kills Five; 24 Injured
Plane Bursts into Flames at Seattle
SEATTLE — (AP) — Two of 28 passengers and crew members burned to death yesterday afternoon when an Alaska Airlines DC-4 crashed and burst into flames at the edge of the Seattle-Tacoma municipal airport. Two others were unaccounted for, 24 hospitalized with injuries and a woman is believed to have been crushed to death in a car which the transport struck as it careened across a highway.
Fifteen of the survivors were rushed by ambulance to the New Renton hospital midway between the airport and Seattle. Their names and the extent of their injuries has not been determined.
Nine, including the pilot, Capt. James E. Farris, Seattle, and co-pilot, Leslie Howe, Anchorage, Alaska, were brought to the Kings County hospital here.
The bodies of a woman and infant, the only child among the passengers making the flight from Anchorage to Seattle, were pulled out of the smoldering wreckage by rescue crews.
Whether the two still missing escaped from the flaming craft after it crashed at 2:25 p.m. (PST) or were trapped in the fire-filled fuselage has not been determined.
Nearly four hours after the crash, fire fighters had not been able to make a thorough examination of the wreckage. Flames fed by gasoline from wing tanks sprang up intermittently, impeding the search.
One of the survivors, Mrs. Pearl Howe, told reporters that the big four-engined airliner made a routine landing but sped off the end of the southeast runway onto the intersection of the Des Moines, Wash., highway 158th Street.
“The plane wasn’t hurt much but it caught fire,” she said. “It didn’t tip. My husband, with another fellow, kicked the main door open. It opened all at once and several lost their balance. My husband was pushed right into the flames.
“Then the plane filled with smoke. The others kept jumping head first out the escape window. I gathered my fur coat over my head and jumped. I slid down the wing shielding my face. I had to roll through the fire to get clear. I just kept rolling through the wet grass till the flames went out.”
Witnesses said the transport crunched into the automobile as it plunged down a steep bank onto the highway intersection, came to a grinding halt in brush at the side of the road and burst into flames.
A man, who has not been located, was seen escaping from the car before it was struck by the plane and welded by the intense heat into a single mass of twisted metal. Rescue crews said the cremated body of a woman is believed to be in the car’s tangled wreckage.
First at the scene were Mr. and Mrs. M. L. Travis, who live nearby.
They said dazed and injured passengers were groping their way out of the burning plane and the cries of others still inside could be heard.
Farris, who suffered a broken arm, internal injuries and severe burns, was doubled up with pain and fell on his face three times in crossing the highway, the Travises said.
Farris cried: “Don’t help me. Help the others.”