VIDEO: Today marks 25 years since ValuJet Flight 592 crashed in the Everglades, killing all 110 people on board.
The plane took off from Miami to Atlanta on May 11, 1996. But about 10 minutes later, it plunged into the Everglades after oxygen canisters ignited a fire in the cargo.
Lives were forever changed and the pain of the tragic day remains. “It’s a trauma that I think we all carry,” said former Miami-Dade firefighter Willi Alvarez.
Alvarez vividly remembers the moment first responders halted their work.
“…They were standing at attention as the families drove by paying their respects,” Alvarez said while fighting back tears. “What I hope to do on this May 11, on the 25th anniversary, is once again have our people come out here and pay our respects for the families.”
Michael Gast and Danny Llano were divers for the Miami-Dade Police Department at the time.
“It’s depressing. It’s depressing when you realize 110 people were on that airplane and their lives just ended,” Gast told NBC 6.