About 2046 eastern daylight time on August 16, 1987, Northwest Airlines flight 255, a McDonnell Douglas DC-9–82, a regularly scheduled passenger flight en route to Phoenix, Arizona, crashed shortly after taking off at the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, Romulus, Michigan. The airplane collided with obstacles northeast of the runway when the left wing struck a light pole located 2,760 feet beyond the end of the runway. The airplane broke up as it slid across the ground and postimpact fires erupted along the wreckage path. Of the 155 people on board passengers only a 4-year-old child, survived.. On the ground, two persons were killed. The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the accident was the flight-crew’s failure to use the taxi checklist to ensure that the flaps and slats were extended for takeoff. Contributing to the accident was the absence of electrical power to the airplane takeoff warning system.