Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Plane Crash

The small plane that crashed into the side of a building in New York today was registered and was being flown by NY Yankee pitcher Corey Lidle, who is now confirmed dead. How tragic!

Of Course, first thoughts are "oh no, not again." Although this incident isn't terrarist related, it's still very sad and unfortunate.

Newday reports:

Yankees pitcher and registered pilot Cory Lidle was among two people killed when his small plane crashed into a Manhattan apartment building today, officials said, in an incident that evoked memories of the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Though early reports said there were four fatalities in the crash, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced during an evening news conference that two fatalities were aboard the plane and there were no fatalities in the exclusive Upper East Side condo building that was struck at the 30th and 31st floors.

It was unclear whether Lidle was piloting the aircraft and who else was aboard the four-seat, Circus SR20 fixed-single wing aircraft. "We are not releasing the names of the two on board," Bloomberg said.

Lidle's agent, Jordan Feagan, said he feared Lidle was among the fatalities of the 2:40 p.m. crash. Police said the pitcher's passport was found either on a floor of the building or on the street below the crash."He wasn't just my client. He was probably my closest friend," Feagan said.

New York Hospital received 16 patients related to the incident. Federal Aviation Administration officials said the two dead were a flight instructor and a student pilot.The building was a block away from the East River corridor. The FAA said planes are permitted to fly over the 8-mile long corridor as long as they stay above 1,100 feet. FAA officials do not believe the pilot was in contact with air traffic controllers and that he did not have to file a flight plan.

Terrorism was not suspected, but the incident sparked Air Force patrols over the city as a precaution."All the evidence now is that it's an accident," said Rep. Peter King, a Homeland Security chairman in Congress who comfired the fatalities and unknown number of residents trapped on higher floors. King also said that NORAD, the U.S. Airforce facility that monitores American airspace, ordered warplanes to patrol over New York City in the wake of the incident.

The crash damaged at least 10 apartments in the building and attracted a heavily armed police response along with 170 firemen. It occured at 524 E. 72nd. St., known as the Bel Air.

New York City Police said there was no indication from U.S. defense department officials that any suspicious aircraft were in the area. Nevertheless, police responded to the scene in body armour and armed with automatic weapons.

Flames could be seen shooting from windows on two upper floors of the building, near the East River. Burning debris fell from the tower, and a column of gray smoke rose over the city. The fire was under control as of 3:30 p.m., authorities said.Police said officers citywide have been ordered to stay on shifts that would have ended at 4 p.m.

Lidle, 34, started nine games for the Yankees this season after being acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies on July 31 in a trade that included Bobby Abreu.

Thoughts and prayers go out to his family.


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