Hudson River plane crash: Breaking news from the office window
The Reuters bureau in Times Square has a striking view of the Hudson River and New Jersey, but on Thursday the scenery became an afterthought, as a US Airways jet splashed down in the frigid waters right before our eyes.
“I was on the phone when I saw a big splash in the middle of the river and realized it was a plane,” said Reuters correspondent Scott DiSavino. “I put the phone down and yelled, ‘Hey, a plane just crashed into the Hudson River!’”
The bureau sprang into action. Photographers sprinted out of the office toward the river, a few long blocks away. Those of us who had the earliest and clearest view gathered around a reporter sending headlines out to Reuters news clients, dictating details about what was happening.
The Passur AirportMonitor site shows the plane took of from Laguardia airport and headed north over the Bronx while climbing to about 2400 feet. Above Yonkers, the plane took a sharp left turn, bringing it over the Hudson River, and it quickly lost altitude. Radar showed the last known altitude at about 500 feet.
(Video capture from Passur.com)
As we could see from our windows, the plane splashed down somewhere near the Intrepid aircraft carrier, docked on the west coast of midtown Manhattan. Ferries immediately sped out to rescue passengers who were standing on the plane’s wings, some of them in knee-deep frigid water.
Earlier indications were that the the plane had flown through a flock of geese, resulting in an explosion in one of the engines. All passengers were rescued.
As our pulses slowly returned to normal we got back to work, chasing up details on the crash, the rescue and the aftermath. More than a few eyes cast occasional glances at the windows, where we had just witnessed some extreme drama without even putting on our coats.