(JTA) — An Israeli man from Skokie, Ill., and three of his grandchildren were killed when the plane he was piloting crashed.
A fourth grandchild was seriously injured in the accident Tuesday morning.
Moshe Menora, a licensed pilot, had four of his grandchildren visiting from Israel on board when the plane encountered difficulty shortly after take-off from a small airport outside Chicago. The six-passenger twin engine Beechcraft Model 58It, which was headed to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, crashed on a nearby interstate. It hit the median barrier on I-75, causing it to flip over and land in the southbound lanes.
The Israeli daily Haaretz reported that a fire broke out in the cabin.
Menora, 73, was killed along with granddaughters Sara Klein, 17; Rikki Menora, 16; and Rachel Menora, 14. Yossi Menora, 13, suffered burns to half his body and was airlifted to a nearby hospital.
Menora, a pilot for 30 years, had taken his grandchildren on flights before.
Sholom Menora, Menora’s son and the father of Rikki, Rachel and Yossi, said the plane split in half. The girls were in the front half and Yossi was in the rear.
Rikki, Rachel and Yossi were from Bet Shemesh. Klein, the daughter of Menora’s oldest daughter, was from Jerusalem.
Menora was born in Haifa and had lived in the United States for 52 years. He worked in real estate.
ZAKA, the Israel-based emergency response and victim identification group, helped assist in the evacuation of Yossi Menora at the site, in the search and removal of the bodies in accordance with Jewish law, and with contacting family in Israel.