PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — 25-years-ago on Monday, a small plane was making its approach into Philadelphia International Airport when the pilot reported trouble with the landing gear. A helicopter pilot tried to take a closer look at the landing gear, and the plane and the helicopter collided. Flaming debris rained down on Merion Elementary school’s playground…

via A Community Remembers Fatal Lower Merion Plane Crash, 25 Years Later — CBS PhillyCBS Philly

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — 25-years-ago  on Monday, a small plane was making its approach into Philadelphia International Airport when the pilot reported trouble with the landing gear. A helicopter pilot tried to take a closer look at the landing gear, and the plane and the helicopter collided. Flaming debris rained down on Merion Elementary school’s playground in Lower Merion Township. Two first graders who were out for recess on a beautiful spring day were killed, another little boy suffered severe burns. Soon after the crash, it was learned Senator John Heinz was a passenger on the plane and was killed, along with the crew of the plane, as well as the helicopter pilot.

Mike Dorwart was doing long division in fifth grade math class on April 4th, 1991, when his teacher Miss. Dwyer jumped to her feet when an explosion literally rocked the school.

“I’ll never forget she said,” Dorwart said. “What the hell was that?”

Then another explosion moments later.

“The principal was on the PA system at the school and said everyone evacuate the school immediately,” Dorwart recalled.

Nearly thirty years later, Dorwart still remembers what it was like on the school yard that day.

“A number of documents were blowing around and one of my teachers said oh no, put that down touch anything you see on the ground just keep walking.”

Along with U.S. Senator John Heinz, who was on board the plane, two girls on the playground were killed by falling wreckage, another little boy suffered 3rd degree burns on most of his body.

Dorwart says he was always sort of bothered by all the attention and honors paid to Senator Heinz.

“Not mentioning anyone else who was killed let alone two first grade girls,” he said.