Sunday, 15th of February, 1970
– Dominican Republic
A Dominicana de Aviacion McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32, registration HI-177, operating an international scheduled passenger flight from Santo Domingo-Las Américas International Airport (SDQ/MDSD), Dominican Republic, to San Juan-Isla Verde International Airport (SJU/TJSJ), Puerto Rico, crashed into the Caribbean Sea while on initial climb due to an engine failure near Santo Domingo-Las Américas International Airport (SDQ/MDSD), Dominican Republic.
The aircraft was completely destroyed. The five crew members and 97 passengers perished. (102 fatalities)
The disaster of HI-177 is the deadliest aviation accident to occur in the Dominican Republic. It is also the seventh worst accident involving the DC-9-30.
Two minutes after takeoff from runway 16 at Santo Domingo-Las Américas Airport, while in initial climb, the pilot informed ATC that the right engine failed and was cleared to return for an emergency landing. Shortly later, the left engine failed as well. Out of control, the airplane entered a dive and crashed into the Caribbean Sea about three km offshore. Few debris were floating on water and others sank by a depth of 300 meters. All 102 occupants were killed among them the Dominican boxer Carlos Teo Cruz, world lightweight champion as well as a large part of the Puerto Rico’s National Women’s Volleyball Team.
“Brand new, the aircraft was delivered by Douglas Corp to Dominicana de Aviación last 16 of December 1969. Only few debris were recovered and unfortunately, both CVR & FDR were not found. Due to lack of evidences, the exact cause of the accident could not be determined with certainty. However, it is believed that the double engine failure may have been caused by the contamination of fuel by an important quantity of water.”