INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – It’s been 30 years since a tragic plane crash claimed the lives of ten people at an Indianapolis airport hotel. Now, one of the survivors is hoping to honor those that lost their lives.
On October 20, 1987, a military plane crashed into the Indianapolis airport Ramada Inn.
The cause of the crash was reportedly defective gear, and at the time the pilot was attempting to make an emergency landing. As the plane crashed, the cockpit and engine flew into the lobby causing a large explosion.
The crash would claim the lives of ten people.
Barry Baker worked in the banquet hall of the hotel and was celebrating his 19th birthday. He says he had just walked into work shortly before the crash happened.
“When it hit the bank, it was just a loud boom, when it slid across I really didn’t hear a whole lot, until it impacted the front of the building. The impact in the front of the building was just one big massive explosion,” Baker said.
Baker says he didn’t know all of the victims, but can still remember a few. He says every year on October 20 he visits the crash site, to honor those that lost their lives.
“Unless I end up buying this property I will probably keep coming here every October 20. It’s my early morning ritual. It’s the first thing I do. “
Despite the crash site is now nothing more than an unkempt parking lot, Baker says he would like to see a plaque or memorial placed there that honors the victims.
He says he believes the city was due to make one shortly after the crash but that he didn’t know what came of it.
“I’ve been here every October 20th for 20 years. Never once have I seen the plaque,” he said.
The United States Air Force ended up paying thousands in property claim damages after the crash. However, Baker insists they “got away with paying peanuts.”
The charred hotel stood for more than two years before it was demolished.