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Super DC-8 destroyed

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Marklin trains, HO Z and 1 gauge

Trix Trains in HO scale, made by Marklin in DC 2 rail

Minitrix Trains in N scale Trix minitrix

Roco European Model Trains in HO scale, the best in AC and DC plus DCC available

Bachmann model trains, starter sets, locomotives and rolling stock all can be found here

Kato model trains in HO and N scales for the American style modeler


Whalters main line, Proto-2000, Cornerstone and many more here

Vollmer model structures and buildings in HO and N gauge as well as Z gauge for Marklin Trains

Faller model buildings and estructures in HO N and Z gauge. For dioramas and layouts.

Kibri Manufacturer of buildings and structures, cars, cranes, moving vehicles and many other stuff

POLA a subsidiary of Faller GmbH manufactures G scale structures

Noch figures and accessories for your layout

Preiser figures and models finely hand painted in scales from 1.22 to 1.220

Viessmann catenary, lighting and signals and accessories are just the best and cheapest. 100% Marklin compatible. Digital for DCC and Motorola

When wood models is the issue, nobody makes better kits than Artesania Latina. You must try these and enjoy the results

Revell from Germany and also Monogram-Revell, the most populat Brand in teh World

Hasegawa models of first class quality, large selection of airplanes

Italery Italian manufacturer of plastic models exclusive models and OEM for Tamiya

trumpeter large scale models of warships including scales up to 1:200

Bandai Gundam Model kits

Tamiya complete line of products in plastic, radio control and accessories and paints.

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7564 S.W. 117th. Ave.
Miami Florida 33183
PH: 305-279-8033
FX: 305-279-0195

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10 am to 3 PM

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A Super DC-8 Cargo plane crashed against our Store

As one of our Customer remarked, it is an irony that in our web pages we gave instructions on how to arrive to our Store: "If you can jump from the plane 14 seconds before landing, you will land in our roof". As you can see, we are very accurate in our directions. But we never said to come WITH the plane.

The nicest European Model Store in USA was destroyed by an airplane.

We were destroyed by Fine Air

A Cargo Jet DC-8, crashes in our front door trapping us inside, surrounded by flames and smoke and no door to escape.

5 People died on the accident, none inside our Store.
But we managed to escape alive. Read the note below.

Total loss and forced to leave.

The marks on the ground marks the path direct impact to us

Just destruction and melted boxes left.

Several hundred's of locomotives lost and a couple of thousand's cars.

These beauties were all lost

The crash in our door

Trapped inside by the flames

The chaos from neighbors

Me being rescued by someone. My wife at the lower right corner.

My wife hair and blouse burned when escaped over the flames

The kind of flames and smoke we got

Some aerial views of the path of the airplane.

The real thing that crashed and te fire that made.

This is a good picture to study. Remember the BMW at the first picture above?. Well, we owe our life to my BMW. As seen on the picture shown by an arrow, you can see what was left of the BMW. This car was parked as seen on the first picture and it was it what stooped the plane to enter inside the Store by the door. Close to it, a turbine can be seen.

Thousand's of gallons of water and foam were used for several hours.

some pictures courtesy of Channel 7 News and The Miami Herald.

On August 7th. 1997, at 12.35 P.M. EST, a Cargo Jet DC-8 crashed in our Store at Miami, 10 seconds after taking off from the Miami International Airport.

As many of you know, we were located just on the path of the run way, across 72nd. Avenue, reason why, we were the most affected for this crash, as the plane just hit our front door, the only entry/exit to the Store..

Fortunately for us, 2 Customers and us inside the Store at the moment of the crash, managed to escape alive, however, the crew of the Airplane (4) and one person inside one car in the parking lot, died on the accident. The two injured that the news said happen on the ground, were the wife of one of our Customers (we must reserve her name) and Mrs. Maria Bartomeu my wife. The rest of us, only some contusions and cuts all over. None was burned.

Our door was blocked by a pile of cars and the wreckage of the plane, surrounded in huge flames and dense smoke, but we managed to escape climbing over the wreckage and hitting the street to the south, were it was less fire.

This has been the worst nightmare anyone can live as we all thought that we were death trapped inside or caught in one of several explosions that occurred from the fuel of the plane, all over the place (about 20.000 Lb. of fuel) and the gas tanks of the cars piled in front of us. It will take long time for us to forget. We were born again.

It is a miracle that there is no more casualties on the ground. As you can see on the above pictures, the plane crossed one of the busiest avenues in Miami, the 72nd. avenue, one of the most important arteries to the Airport.

As for us, our wounds are nothing compared with what could happen to all of us, when that fire, smoke and explosions were on our own face and the door won't open.

The causes of the crash have not been determined yet, but rumors are pointing to the cargo, that was lose and make the plane to fall, going down and breaking in pieces in the middle of a big ball of fire.

5 minutes before the crash, we received one shipment and was left, just at one side of the entry door inside the Store. My wife Maria, was opening the boxes to review the content, so she was less than 3 feet away from the door.
She saw the plane coming against us in a straight path, at incredible speed and shaking the ground like a earthquake, several explosions, fire everywhere and smoke.

The plane crossed the avenue and went direct to our cars, destroying, as far as I know, about 10 or 11 cars parked in front of our Store, with the misfortune, that also one of those cars, was occupied by a men that was bringing the lunch to his Wife, a Lady who works near by in other Store on the same complex. This was the only victim on the ground known.

Due the strike of UPS, that is located only about 200 yards from our complex, there was several Police units in the sector, that arrived in mater of seconds to the Scene, however, it was a complete chaos as the images were horrendous and of course, at the beginning, nobody new if it was a passenger or cargo plane.

The Fire Department arrived just a few minutes after the crash, I would say not more than 4 minutes and they started to spray foam all over, but the flames did not die for several hours.

As to give an idea of the intense heat produced by the flames, when my car was removed from there, a big ball of aluminum was found on the bottom of the car in the floor. It was the motor that melted. The car had no motor at all, according with the people who took the car out of there. (I'm still trying to figure it out where is that car and others that belong to us and my Customers)

The heat was so intense, that the business next to me had a security video camera 50 feet away from the entry and even that distance, it was found completely melted.
The electric cables that are inside the walls in our fronts, are melted and must be changed up to the meter room, a distance of more than 150 yards.

There is no other Airplane crash that had so many witnesses. There are hundred's of them, what it makes more incredible that so many people was on the Street and none was injured or killed by this plane.

It is incredible that the plane, with more than 100.000 Lb. between cargo and fuel, plus the weight of the plane, could be stopped by 3 cars, one Lincoln Mark VIII, one Mercedes Benz S-500 and one BMW 740 that made a wall against our front door and prevented the plane or parts of it, to enter inside the premises, where no escape would be possible and all the buildings would take fire from one to an other from the inside.

It is incredible that we were able to open the door and push whatever was there behind, preventing to open the door.

It is incredible that when we were climbing that impressive mountain of wreckage and fire, no explosion occurred, but after a while, when we were away from the fuselage.

It is incredible that tons of debris that came inside the Stores affected, did not hit anyone inside. I found a piece of metal, sharp as a knife, 20 inches long, just in front of my desk. By the way, even when some glass broke, we have metal bars inside the Store that are fixed to the structure except on the door, where the security template glass was not broken and I cut not break it to escape.

For some unknown reason, that we never thought before, there is no back door or any other escape from the building. According with the Fire Department, it must be one by Law, but we have our Certificate of Occupancy and we had the inspection done by the Zone and Building Department who gave us the Certificate.
The Landlord, is not giving us any explanation on this matter but we are investigating this absence of escape door. It is our main concern, the security of our Customers, but we never thought, that something like this cut happen.

As a final result of the crash, the damages have been extremely severe for us. We had to be closed for business more than one week now and we will be forced to move from our Store/warehouse to a new location.

All our displays are either burned or damaged by water and an incredible oily black smoke film covering all the units and boxes.
Only those units boxed in our warehouse, seems to be in good condition, even when some boxes are covered by this film of dust, however, each unit must be inspected and tested, what represents a very hard job that will take time to finish.

As today date, we have lost the 100% of our Stock in Vollmer, Faller, Noch, Roco Minitanks, Roco N gauge, Trix N gauge, Fleischmann N gauge. Nothing is left.
Marklin, Roco, Fleischmann, Hag and Trix, HO gauge, has been reduced at least in one piece of each, those that were on display, but some of them, were unique or only one of a kind, so there is no way to replace them.
Marklin 1 gauge and MAXI has suffered also, we lost several unique pieces such 5523 and others impossible to replace

We are now conducting business partially from the old Store and one temporary location, where we are accommodating our Stock, but the display of our units, has been severely reduced at this moment.

We must move totally to a new location as the building requires major repairs, that makes not possible to stay inside doing business in a regular basis, plus the check out of each unit, makes it easier, once checked, to store it again in a new place.

Our Mail Order, Internet Order and Dealer's services are operative now. Only walk ins may have some difficulties to see all our Stock as it was used to be.

The new address will be given and published as soon as all the legal stuff is finish and we can be 100% sure that we can operate normally. There is hundreds of small things to take care on top of the big problems that an incident such us this crash, has caused to us, so we require a little bet more time, to offer again to all our Customers and visitors, the magnificent items we sell from all our Manufacturers.

Any correspondence by Mail, must be sent at our address as usual, same any package or parcel. We pick our Mail at the Post Office as it is not delivered to us until the inner road (inside the complex) is repaired and open.
Our phones and fax numbers remains the same, so all communications are open as usual even when not all are located on the same place, but they are forwarded to our main number.

We are dealing with the Insurance and we will fight to get what is right, not what they want to offer. If they don't know about Quality Trains, we do.

Our Stock is starting to receive new fresh material, some restocking and some new releases. We have received full cooperation from Roco and Trix and our vendors for Marklin, including Marklin Inc. among others and from our Bank, who has given right away, the founds to buy in emergency, to continue doing business.

We hope that new shipments will arrive, if material is available at the Factories, in a couple of weeks. There is a container from Noch that must arrive to Miami around the 20th. as it was shipped from Germany way after the accident. Unfortunately, this time of the year is not the best to refill inventory as all the Factories are in their Summer Holidays.

We will open a new page with a link from our Home page, to keep you informed on the last developments, new arrivals or whatever news we can have for you. Again, we are still with problems to ship or replace some of the merchandise that was ready to be shipped by UPS, so we will start to ship via USMail or Federal Express to remove those packages from our warehouse, but some of them, we will issue the credits to whatever form of payment you used, as some packages were totally destroyed and there is no replacement for the units inside.

We have received more than 1200 e-mails all over the World, from Customers and non Customers, dozens of letters and postcards, no idea how many phone calls but also in the hundreds, with words of support and good wishes. We think that in total, it must be around the 1500 people who has communicate somehow with us.

We thank you all. This is the best proof that not all is business but that also exist people who cares for the others. God bless you all.

Thank you for your continuous support.

William Bartomeu

Miami August 29th. 1997