BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – As bad as the crash was, a number of people keep repeating that it could have been worse. A former Tarrant resident says at one time the field where the jet crashed was part of a neighborhood with houses which were bought by the airport and leveled years ago.
A chain link fence and a two lane street are all that stand between the property and homeowners on multiple sides of the airport.
As the investigation unfolds and things slowly start to feel normal again for residents who live near the runway- some say this is a wakeup call that they don’t plan to ignore. Some say for them feeling safe again might mean trying to move.
Utility crews spent the day repairing damaged lines near the trees which were clipped by the UPS jet shortly before impact. As the investigation into what led up to the crash continues, the crash site is being cleared piece by piece. Dumpsters set up inside the perimeter of the crash scene are being filled with debris from the wrecked cargo jet. Lawyer Griffin lives near the scene of the crash. He says it was a close call and he wants the Birmingham Airport Authority to buy his property so he can relocate.
“That’s really a wakeup call it’s just, it’s pretty rough- it sort of- it woke me up when I heard it happen,” said Lawyer Griffin. “A lot of times it will be pretty noisy. Planes be running pretty low.”
“We’ve been trying to get them to buy it- buy this property, but they put us off on it. On account of they say the noise; they’ll probably get to it. So I’m hoping they’ll get to it now,” said Griffin.
The field where the crash happened borders the Cities of Tarrant and Birmingham.
The airport property impacts Birmingham City Councilor Maxine Parker’s district.
“I think it’s time for the Birmingham Airport Authority to look at other safety and endangerments to our citizens in the area,” said Maxine Parker, Birmingham City Council member. “The fact that the planes are coming so close to the residents would be a concern and I think that’s the avenue that as citizens in the airport area we should look at.”
The Eastlake Neighborhood Association is calling for a meeting Wednesday night at 6 p.m. at Patton Park in Birmingham. City Councilor Maxine Parker is also planning to call at meeting with the Birmingham Airport Authority after the investigation is complete. We reached out to the airport authority, Tuesday afternoon and spokesperson Toni Herrera-Bast said there were no property acquisition plans to report.