Wednesday, October 11, 2006


I don't know more than you do. I'm on the West Side; it happened over on the East Side. The local ABC affiliate says:

The FDNY has confirmed that a helicopter flying in an exclusion airspace crashed into an Upper East Side building Wednesday afternoon.

Several windows of an apartment were blown out in an apartment building at the Belaire building on 524 East 72nd Street, between York and East End Avenue.

Eyewitness News' Shannon Sohn was in Newscopter 7, watching the raging fire that sent a pillar of black smoke over the city. There was no immediate word on any deaths or injuries.

The Belaire is a high rise building near the Hospital for Special Surgery. A fire was reported on the 41st floor after the crash. FDNY crews are on the scene working to put the blaze out....

Local news radio site says:

Eyewitness's say the plane was banking low to the right.

It is 10/11. This could be someone's idea of a mini-9/11 -- or it could be an accident on a cloudy day.


UPDATE: Local TV news says "a small fixed-wing aircraft" flew into the building (not a helicopter); no indication of terrorism, per the FBI and Homeland Security.

Two confirmed fatalities, per the NYPD.


MORE: An NBC News vice president who saw the crash while with her child insists that the nose was pointed down at the moment of impact -- as if the plane wasn't trying for maximum impact with the building. She was being interviewed by a local NBC reporter, who says another eyewitness described having seen a plane doing "tricks" or "maneuvers" -- deliberately or because the plane was out of control. This would seem to suggest a pilot who had lost the ability to handle the plane rather than someone trying to fly headfirst into a high-rise. Also, see this somewhat confusing account from CNN:

Witness Sarah Steiner told CNN that fires were burning on the ground. "It looks like the plane just flew into someone's living room there."

"It looks as if the aircraft didn't go into the building but fell down," she said. "It may be part of the debris burning on the ground."

I'm guessing an accident, and a pilot who was trying to do something clever (the NBC interview suggests perhaps travesing Manhattan east to west or west to east, which would be insane for someone flying a low-flying craft).


MORE: Another eyewitness on CNN just now described a plane he thought was out of control.

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