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Bellevue YMCA Members Still Coping with Crash - John Dunn

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BELLEVUE, Tenn. -- Bellevue YMCA members were allowed to return Friday afternoon as the YMCA reopened its doors. Many members say it has been a difficult week. They are trying to cope with a tragedy, after a plane crashed very close to the building.

Treadmills were humming, and runners were circling as activity returned to the Bellevue YMCA. If you listen closely to conversations, many people here have a story about Monday's plane crash. Dwayne Smith was close to where it happened. "Looked out these windows and saw a big ball of fire, and black smoke bellowing up from the corner of the building over there," says Dwayne Smith.

Dwayne Smith says it was a hectic scene. Parents rushed to gather their children and the fire alarms were blaring. Outside, scattered on the ground, Dwayne saw things he wishes he could forget. "You know it was just so sad to think that someone's loved ones had perished immediately.  I mean there was just no way someone could have survived that," says Smith.

The closest part of the building to the crash site is the swimming pool. At the time there were kids, mothers, and families, all inside. Home video taken moments after the crash shows the site just 20 yards away from the open door of the pool area.
     
WATCH: Home video taken moments after plane crash
The YMCA is now providing counselors. Several people have already signed up for help coping. "The way to deal with trauma oftentimes is to talk about it, and be able to say this is what happened and have a listening ear," says counselor Erin Lennon.

Dwayne Smith admits that he has had trouble this week. "It was really difficult to even force myself to come in because it was still fresh in my mind, and I'm sure a lot of peoples' minds, about what happened just a few days ago," says Smith.

YMCA members are now writing their condolences. As workout routines get back to normal, some things will never be the same.

We spoke with several people who were still too emotional to talk about what they saw and experienced. It is obvious that what happened has had a long lasting effect.

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