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January 10, 1997 - Image 1

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-01-10

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1£..

Unt

Tonight: Snow showers, low
around 17*.
tomorrow: More snow
showers, high around 220.

One hundred six years ofeditoriafreedom

Friday
January 10, 1997

Plane

crash

near

etro

kills

29

Markicy PA
~urio Mayk
rani Yachnin
DE)iy Staff Reporters
:Aati Sharangpani's last term at the University and her
hopes for a job at Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati, where she
iteviewed before her return flight, ended in the fatal crash
of Comair flight 3272 yesterday.
Sharangpani, an LSA senior from Holland, Mich., was a
resident adviser in the Butler House of Mary Markley
Residence Hall. The sign on her door wishes residents
" Icome back for one last semester."
dents huddled together across campus last night to
share warm
thoughts after the
chilling news that
they had lost a
friend.
"She was the
kindest person you
could ever meet,"
F said Swapneel
Ekbote, a friend of
Sharangpani and a
1996 University
graduate.
Sharangpani had
never been so
happy and full of
anticipation as she
was before her
recruiting trip to
Cincinnati, said a
friend who drove
her to the airport
arangpani two days ago.
When she called
the same friend yesterday, Sharangpani knew she had gotten
the job, her friend said.
"She called me from the (Cincinnati) airport," the friend
said. "She said something about that she might not come
back (tonight) because the weather was bad."
Sharangpani's energy and dynamic personality were con-
tagious, she said.
"She really taught me how to be a good friend."
kends stressed that Sharangpani's kindness and openness
't limited to a small group of confidantes. She reached
out into the community - and she touched people's lives.
"She did a lot of community service stuff. She helped
organize a benefit concert for some of the people who
worked in Mrkley and passed away last year, said Amy
Smith, a Law second-year student and resident director at
Markley.
"She has that, like .. that ... everyone liked her;' said
Ekbote, who met Sharangpani three years ago when they
both lived in Mosher-Jordan.
Ithough friends searched for the words to describe their
d, they remembered that "Artie" always knew what to
say.
She could "speak well" with groups of friends and
strangers, said Diganta Saha.
Saha's relationship with Sharangpani grew from just an
acquaintance several years ago to a friend who occasionally
accompanied him on sailing trips with the U-M Sailing Club.
"She was a friend of a friend, and then became a friend,"
he said.
"She always reached out to everyone," said Chad Bailey,
an LSA senior and resident director at Markley.
, See STUDENT, Page 3
Rose meets with
Clinton on loans
By Jeffrey Kseff
1I Staff Reporter
Representing students receiving financial aid nationwide,
Michigan Student Assembly President Fiona Rose spoke to
Prosjdent Clinton in the Oval Office yesterday in support of
direct federal student loans.
Rose was selected along with six other college students by
the Department of Education to meet with Clinton and
Secretary of Education Richard Riley.
"It was incredible," Rose said. "It was a wonderful experi-
ence to meet the president."
In addition to meeting with the president, Rose was chosen

to be the group's spokesperson.
"We talked about student loans and
the Hope Scholarship Program," Rose
said.
Rose said she and Clinton share the
same views on financial aid.
"He really is offering students a
number of options,' Rose said.
Associate Vice President for
Government Relations Thomas Butts
said Rose's performance as spokesper-
qW son was well received by the
Department of Education.
"I talked with some of the department heads and they were
very pleased," Butts said. "Fiona did an excellent job. She was
asked to introduce the president with a few minutes' notice.'
In addition to discussing student loans, Rose encouraged
Clinton's daughter Chelsea to attend the University. She also

dies on Comair flight from Cincinnati

By Jodi S. Cohen
Daily Staff Reporter

x'..
' .n

A Comair commuter plane crashed yesterday afternoon
just 25 miles outside of snow-blanketed Ann Arbor, killing
all 29 on board.
LSA senior Arita Sharangpani and at least four Detroit res-
idents were among those killed. Comair officials released the
names of 20 victims last night and they plan to announce the
remaining names this morning.
Comair flight 3272 was 18 miles from the Detroit
Metropolitan Airport when it went down just before 4 p.m.
into an open field near a farmhouse in Raisinville Township.
"I saw the plane doing barrel rolls and it went straight
down. There was a fireball and some smoke after it hit the
ground," Theodore Rath, a 69-year-old farmer, said last night,
Rath said he stood about 800 feet from the low-flying
plane when it took a nosedive into four inches of snow.
"The way it came down, there was no way anybody could
survive,"said Rath, who said he heard a "terrible noise" as he
walked outside to get his newspaper.
Officials confirmed last night that all 26 passengers and
three crew members died when the twin-engine Embraer
120, on its way to the Detroit airport from Cincinnati,
crashed into the field.
Federal Aviation Administration officials said yesterday the
pilot of Flight 3272 did not indicate any problems as the plane
approached Detroit. The 30-seat propeller plane went down at
3:50 p.m., Don Zachart, an FAA spokesperson, said in a state-
ment.
AP PHOTO As press and rescue workers gathered at the crash site,
ugh the Monroe County Sheriff Tilman Crutchfield said that investi-
ester- gation efforts would continue today.
com- "We expect no activity on the scene until tomorrow morn-
ing,' Crutchfield said at 9 p.m. last night, as snow continued to
tly fall on the site. "It will be protected with coverings until then."
Its way Crutchfield said a temporary morgue had been established
Nhen It at the site and an FAA investigator had arrived last night.
- Detroit airport spokesperson Barbara Hogan said flight
3272 was due to arrive at 4:15 p.m.
'port An eerie quietness surrounded the airport yesterday
er evening as news of the crash spread. Security perimeters
at a rel- were set outside the airline's gate and only passengers with
Comair tickets were allowed through.
One woman, who believed that her husband may have
been on flight 3272, ran to the gate screaming and crying.
"I want to see if my husband is on this flight," the young
See CRASH, Page 2

Above: Rescue workers sift throi
remains of Comair flight 3272 yc
day afternoon after the twinprop
muter plane crashed in a field in
Raisinville Township, Mich., shor
before 4 p.m. The flight was on I
to Detroit Metropolitan Airport K
went- down, killing all 29 aboard
Left: People at Detroit Metro Air
yesterday hugged each other aft
learning from airport officials the
ative may have been aboard the
flight.

Small town rocked in aftermath of airline disaster

By Jenni Yachnin
Daily Staff Reporter p
RAISINVILLE TOWNSHIP - A
yellow farmhouse stands 250 yards
from the field where Comair flight
3272 crashed here yesterday.
"We are right in one of the approach
lanes; said Don Helser, a resident of
Grape, Mich., who lives adjacent to the
crash site. "In this day and age it was
just a matter of time. The plane just had
a disaster and failed."
The flight crashed in a field with
medium-sized trees, and last night the
lights of rescue teams were visible
among the branches. Residents say the
plane probably crashed into the park

located behind a local Baptist church.
"If it had,-been 100 feet further it
would have been in the (Raisinville)
River;" said one local resident.
A street of residential homes and the
Raisinville Township Hall are only a
short distance from the site, as close as
100 yards. Residents who saw the
smoke rising soon after the plane had
crashed could see the site by looking
out their windows.
"I can walk over there in 10 minutes,"
said Erin Fleming, a Grape resident.
The snow continued to fall in the near-
by small town of Ida, Mich., last night as
both state and local police continued to
block off area roads. Residents stood in

their garages to avoid the cold wind as
they stared into the trees.
"In Raisinville Township ... (there
are) probably about 5,000 people in the
township," said LSA junior Jill Brunt,
who lives 20 miles from Ida. "(There
are) probably about 10 to 15 homes per
square mile out there?'
Residents commented that television
coverage showed the baseball backstops
on the shots showing the plane's debris.
"A lot of (the residents) will find it to
be pretty unbelievable;" Brunt said.
Several residents who live across
from the crash site heard the plane go
down moments before they saw smoke.
See SITE, Page 2

Comair flight 3272
B Comair flight 3272, with 26
passengers and 3 crew mem-
bers, crashed at about 4 p.m.
yesterday in Raisinville Township, Mich., 25 miles from
Ann Arbor. Comair identified 20 of the 29 who died in
the crash.
1,The plane, an (EM2) Embraer Brasilla 120, operates
with twin turbopropeller engines and has a maximum
passenger capacity of 30. With a range of 800 miles,
the Brasilia can fly at 32,000 ft. with a cruising speed
of 345 mph.
Yesterday's flight was a commuter trip from
Cincinnati to Detroit Metro Airport.

Abdul Haq, a
local physician,
prays yesterday
at the Ann Arbor
Islamic Center.
The prayer was
part of a
ceremony com-
memorating the
beginning of the
holy month of
Ramadan, Islam's
most important
holiday. Ramadan
requires Muslims
to refrain from
eating.

Northwestern
Web page
causes free-
speech.stir
By Chris Metinko
Daily Staff Reporter
Should universities censor what gets
put on their Web pages?
The University of Michigan has
always had a clear stance on this issue.
"We do not censor" said Laurie Burns,
associate director at the Information
Technology Division. What material gets
put on the University's page is "based on
University policies," Burns said.
"The University values free speech
and that is the dominant principle when
evaluating material," Burns said. "If
there is no violation of policies or laws,
free-speech principles are applied"
It is this free-speech policy that has
students and faculty up in arms at
Northwestern University.
The debate centers around
Northwestern University Engineering
Prof. Arthur Butz. Northwestern is let-
ting the professor use the university-
owned Web server to spread his own
view of history to millions.
Butz claims that the Holocaust never

JOSH BIGGS/Daily

Area Muslims prepare for Ramadan

By Stephanie Powell
Daily Staff Reporter
Today marks the beginning of Ramadan, a
month in which Muslim University students

decorations of lights and Eid prayers.
Asif Harsolia, president of the Muslim
Student Association, said that the MSA will
sponsor several activities during this holy month.

also send Eid cards to Muslim students inform-
ing them of functions, and letters to faculty dis-
cussing awareness of the religious holiday.
"It is a time to get the true spirit of Ramadan,"

,I

.I

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