Flame-Out Over Portland

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 7
On the Ground
When United Airlines Flight 173 from Denver to Portland crashed with 178 passengers and 8 crew members, only 10 people lost their lives in the crash.
The plane crashed in a residential area, but no one on the ground was killed or even injured. Two houses were crushed by the plane, but both were vacant—the only vacant houses in the immediate area.
The plane passed over the raised roadbed of Burnside Street, which was between the two houses, and it passed under two high-tension electric power lines. After its first impact it actually stopped in only two times its length, though it had trimmed off fir trees 60 feet high a full six blocks away. The two houses acted as a cushion before striking the firm ground, and the first one deflected the plane from the raised roadbed. The high-tension lines caught the tail of the plane and acted as a spring to slow it down quickly. Only minutes before the crash, a false signal tripped the overload relay switch and cut power from one of the two 57,000 volt power lines.
That plane crash is well called: "The Burnside Street Miracle!"
Virginia Webb lived with her family next door to the crash site on Burnside Street. The following account by Mrs. Webb shows how wonderfully God takes care of those who trust in Him: "My sons Danny, 11, and Andy, 7, had just come in the door from collecting for their paper route. Moments before, they had walked past the spot where the plane crashed.
"There was a sudden flash, followed by more flashes and crashing sounds, and the whole house shook. My six children were terrified and screaming; I got them calmed down and told them to sit together in the middle of the living room.
"Then I went outside expecting to find a bad car wreck. Instead, people were streaming over our fence, screaming for help. There sat a DC-8 where our neighbor's house had been. It was unbelievable!
"When my husband got home from work, we gathered our children together and knelt in prayer, thanking God for His protecting hand on our family. We feel our family was spared by the grace of God."
The hand of God brought about a wonderful set of circumstances to deliver so many from a fiery death. God says, "Call upon Me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me." Psa. 50:1515And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me. (Psalm 50:15). Just as the passengers on Flight 173 had prayed to God and were delivered, so we can call upon Him and be saved from our sins. That is because the Lord Jesus Christ died on tie cross, taking the punishment we deserved. "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him [Jesus] the iniquity of us all." Isa. 53:66All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:6).