WASHINGTON (WDVM) — On this day 40 years ago, Air Florida Flight 90 crashed in the 14th Street Bridge and plunged into the Potomac River shortly after take-off killing 78 people, according to the Washington DC Metropolitan Police Memorial & Museum.

This happened as the plane took off from the formerly known Washington National Airport, now known as Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

Seven cars on the bridge were struck by the Air Florida plane before it fell into the freezing Potomac water, according to the museum.

Due to traffic conditions on the bridge that day, rescue efforts were more difficult. A U.S. Park Police helicopter assisted survivors as part of the rescue mission.