Wednesday, October 11, 2006


A Cessna Cirrus SR-20 owned by the New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle has crashed into an apartment building alongside the East River in Manhattan, killing four people.

ESPN is reporting that Lidle was piloting and is among those confirmed dead. MSNBC is just now corroborating. TV says that there will be a press conference with Mayor Bloomberg shortly.

update, 5:07 pm - now the ESPN link is more detailed. It's practically identical to the MSNBC one, so apparently there's some rip and read going on; let's just call it the AP report.

update, 5:19 pm - oh, well that's tactful, CNN:

And in other news, footage too gruesome for public consumption - LET'S WATCH!
The underlined bit at the very bottom reads "Watch the orange flames ravage the apartment - 1:50". Geez, do you think you could have a little courtesy for thirty minutes in respect for the dead and their families?

update, 5:26 pm - Bloomberg's on now. First Q was about Lidle. (British-voiced lady. Nice. Work for CNN much?) Bloomberg cut her off: "We don't release names before notification of kin." Good for him. She finished the question anyway. Wankette.

2nd Q - how many apartments affected? A - unsure, some have been combined into suites. (It's an upscale building, lots of professionals, some writers/actors...)

two Qs on terrorism. Bloomberg - "This is an aviation disaster; unlikely to be more than what it appears to be." Praise for the emergency response teams.

5:30 pm - Bloomberg - the plane took off from Teterboro, tower lost radar contact when plane lost altitude.

Q about flight restrictions. Bloomberg - NTSB will have to determine if it was a violation or if trouble took the plane out of its flight plan. "I'm sure it will take some time, but they will eventually release their report..." More praise for emergency response.

5:33 pm - Q - "What does this say about the security of New York City's airspace?" Bloomberg - I don't see that there's any greater significance, it's just an accident.

Q about flight record - Bloomberg - "A small plane like this would be unlikely to have a flight recorder, those are only for larger commercial flights."

A couple more questions trying to link this to 9/11 - typical journo template sort of thing, from the sound of it. (Lots of that sort of thing in the text reports, too.) Bloomberg's not buying.

5:36 pm - Bloomberg summing up: took off from Teterboro, circled the Statue of Liberty; no violations of flight plan until plane dropped, going north of 59th St. Bridge; plane hit at 2:42 pm. 11 firefighters treated for minor injuries. No bodies found among debris in the apartment, two on the ground. Confirming only two. Steadfastly refusing to name anyone, or even to tell whose plane it was. Masterful. He's doing very well here.

5:37 pm - Bloomberg's out. Eyewitness News channel 7 is on board, still pegging this as "Cory Lidle killed in plane crash."

update, 5:42 pm - I missed this while typing, the reporter is mentioning it now: two people were actually in the apartment that was struck by the plane, and were unhurt. (Luckily, not near the window.) Confirming two dead, an instructor and student pilot, NOT four.

5:44 pm - another fine touch from the anchor: "They don't release names until the kin are notified, but of course they have to know by now." BECAUSE YOU'VE BEEN BLARING THE NEWS FOR THE PAST TWO HOURS.

5:55 pm - Lidle had about 75 hours of flight experience, their expert du jour (Ron Wasilko, a flight instructor) calls it "beginner level experience." Calls the weather conditions "marginal" and said he wouldn't have taken out a training flight in it.

6:05 pm - Interesting - the Al Jazeera account just popped up. Not a single mention of Lidle, but lots of stuff like this:
  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation said there was no indication that the crash on Wednesday was related to terrorism. But the White House said it was not ruling out any theory for the crash.
  • George Bush was informed shortly after the crash, which evoked memories of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
  • A woman who lives on the same street, Chris Foege, said, "I just stood there in shock, I thought 'this can't be happening to us again.'" It was like "9-11 all over again."
  • The television images of the burning building evoked memories of the devastating attacks of September 11, 2001 on New York and Washington when hijacked airliners were flown into the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, killing almost 3,000.

That "This can't be happening to us again" bit ran in an inset box. I'd twit them on all of this, except that it sounds a bit like some of the AP stuff I've been reading the past hour.

6:53 pm - ESPN updated their story with a sidebar of athletes, coaches, and sports administrators killed in plane crashes.

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