Today marks the 53rd anniversary of what was considered the worst aviation disaster in history at the time. At 10:21 a.m., United Airlines Flight 826 left O'Hare Airport in Chicago heading for Idlewild Airport. Around the same time, Trans World Airlines Flight 266 was on its way to LaGuardia Airport from Dayton, Ohio.

A mile above New York City, the two planes collided, killing all but one of the 128 passengers aboard (11-year-old Stephen Baltz died the next morning). The United plane landed at the intersection of Seventh Avenue and Sterling Place in Brooklyn; the TWA flight landed in Staten Island's Miller Field. Six people on the ground were killed as well.

Aside from being the worst disaster of its kind to date, this was also the first time black box recorders were used in an investigation of an aviation disaster. Relive, or get familiar with the tragedy through these stunning photos.

[via HyperVocal]