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Army responds to New York plane crash

More than a dozen experienced grief counselors from The Salvation Army sought to console distraught families in the aftermath of the crash of American Airlines Flight 587, which engulfed a Queens neighborhood in flames upon impact.

The plane, destined for the Dominican Republic with 255 people on board, crashed shortly after takeoff from John F. Kennedy International Airport.

The Salvation Army, under the direction of Emergency Disaster Services Coordinator Moises Serrano, immediately sent four canteens to the scene to assist with relief efforts. The canteens supplied food and beverages to rescue workers attending to both crash victims and residents of the New York City neighborhood.

About 300 individuals who had friends or family aboard the flight were gathered at a nearby hotel where Salvation Army grief counselors were providing bilingual counseling under the leadership of Major Molly Shotzberger, who had previously coordinated grief counseling teams for TWA #800 and the World Trade Center tragedies.

Salvation Army grief counselors were also on duty at the Medical Examiner’s Office in Manhattan where bodies were being transported from the crash scene. About 30 staff members and volunteers were serving at the scene and other related locations throughout New York City.

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