Wednesday, October 11, 2006

NYC: Small Aircraft Crashes into Building

A helicopter (maybe) small aircraft has crashed into a high-rise apartment building (Belaire), North side of building, West side of York Ave. (524E 72nd St & York). It looks like two apartments are on fire (on NY1--point of impact somewhere around 30th floor according to witness in another bldg. in the area who's on the 26th floor).

NY1 reports 2 people dead.

FAA--no way to tell for sure if it's a small plane or helicopter.

FBI--NY1 reports the FBI is saying it's not terrorist related [how incompetent do you have to be to issue a statement like this at this point!]

I'm about 20 blocks from there, and I don't hear a lot of sirens. [I wouldn't have known anything was going on had I not turned on the TV.]

UPDATE 3:33pm

NY1--Eyewitness walking on Roosevelt Island (~3pm)...saw little crop duster-type airplane...looked like it circled around, and plowed into building. It didn't look like it was wobbling or in distress, it looked like it was heading directly for the apartment building.

NY1--Normal air traffic over the city.

UPDATE 3:43pm

WNBC (ch.4)--FAA reports aircraft was operating under visual flight rules and was not in contact with any control tower. Jim Smith from news chopper 4 says no contact with tower is not unusual; it's allowed to accommodated heliport activity

WNBC--reporter on scene, according to a source: Penetration was not significant; firefighting operation "routine" as per FDNY, and fire is "substantially" out; no firefighters injuries; building structure appears to be intact.

[From live pics, I can see firefighters standing at the windows of the impacted apartments.]

WNBC--Two bodies found on 72nd St, one still strapped in seat, the other believed to also be from the aircraft; apparently no pedestrians deaths; also luggage and some fuselage/undercarriage on the street.

WNBC--Eyewitness, who's a VP at NBC, says her gut feeling is that it wasn't deliberate targeting (the aircraft was "slanted down" when it impacted), rather some technical difficulty.

UPDATE 4:10pm

NY1--Fire under control; According to the FBI and DHS this appears to be an accident, not terrorism; buses M15, 30, 31, 66 and 72 rerouted; York Ave., and FDR North @64th are closed; 4,5 subways not affected. 168 firefighters on scene

Another eyewitness on Roosevelt Island says it was a small plane, looked like engine stalled, an accident.

Emergency assistance number 1-877-RED-CROSS.

NY1--Confirms it was a small plane, originating from Teterboro airport. [Plane took-off ~2:30 pm.] Apartment was build in 1988 (50 floors); impact was on the 20th floor.

UPDATE 4:34pm

NY1--NY1--Situation under control (four apartments engulfed in flames upon impact); emergency vehicles are starting to pull out of the area; two confirmed dead; some utility workers, working on the ground, may have been hurt; plane was a Cirrus 20 with 4 seats; consensus is that it was an accident; official press conference planed by the Mayor.

UPDATE 4:44pm

NY1--Gov. Pataki on the phone "virtually certain there was no link to terrorism".

NY1--Anchor asks Pataki to confirm that plane was owned by Yankee player Corry something (?Lyle) [Corey Lidle]. Pataki defers to local authorities.

NY1 Anchor says the ME's office confirms 4 dead.


NY1--Two sources confirm 34 yo Yankee Corey Lidle was one of the fatalities. [AP report.]

One more link, from the AP:

NEW YORK - A small plane carrying New York Yankee Cory Lidle slammed into a 50-story skyscraper Wednesday, apparently killing the pitcher and a second person in a crash that rained flaming debris onto the sidewalks and briefly raised fears of another terrorist attack.


The federal official said the plane had issued a distress call before the crash. The craft took off from New Jersey's Teterboro Airport about 2:30 p.m. and was in the air for barely 15 minutes, authorities said. It was not immediately known where the plane was headed.

The FAA said it was too early to determine what might have caused the crash. The
National Transportation Safety Board sent investigators.

How the plane managed to penetrate airspace over one of the most densely packed sections of New York City was not clear. The plane was unusual in that it was equipped with a parachute in case of engine failure, but there was no sign the chute was used.

Note: Since it's been confirmed that it was a small aircraft, I changed the title.


At 1:27 AM, Blogger Dr. Charles said...

very sad news, but glad it was not part of a larger story. i followed cory lidle as a fan. very sad, senseless loss. another reason i'll never get in a small private plane to go cruising around/

At 5:58 AM, Blogger ema said...

My sentiments, exactly.


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