Liberty Rocks

World & US News Round-ups, Commentary & Research Information

SPECIAL REPORT: Airplane Crashes into a Manhattan Apartment Building UPDATE: Yankee Pitcher Cory Lidle May Be Among The 2 Known Deceased, plane registered to Lidle

Posted by Admin on October 11, 2006

UPDATE – 4:45 p.m. US/Central


Yanks’ Lidle Believed Among 2 Dead in Plane Crash – FAA: Plane Registered to Pitcher, Passport Found in Street” – Ch. 2 WCBS-TV (CBS) – CBS Corporation – New York, New York, US – 11 October 2006 – 5:32 p.m. US/Eastern


(CBS/AP) NEW YORK A small plane with New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle aboard crashed into a 50-story condominium tower Wednesday on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, killing at least two people and raining flaming debris on sidewalks, authorities said. There was no immediate confirmation Lidle was among the dead.

A law enforcement official in Washington, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Lidle was on the plane. And Federal Aviation Administration records showed the single-engine plane was registered to the athlete, who just days ago — after the Yankees’ humiliating elimination from the playoffs — told reporters that he was getting his pilot’s license.

The official said he did not know whether Lidle was at the controls; at least one other person was aboard the four-seat aircraft.

The crash rattled New Yorkers’ nerves five years after the Sept. 11 attacks, abut the FBI and the Homeland Security quickly said there was no evidence it was anything but an accident. Nevertheless, fighter jets were sent aloft over New York and other U.S. cities as a precaution, the Pentagon said.

The plane came through a hazy, cloudy sky and hit the 20th floor of The Belaire — a red-brick tower overlooking the East River, about five miles from the World Trade Center — with a loud bang, touching off a raging fire that cast a pillar of black smoke over the city and sent flames shooting from four windows on two adjoining floors.

Firefighters shot water streams of water at the flames from the floors below and put the blaze out in less than an hour.

Large crowds gathered in the street in the largely wealthy New York neighborhood, with many people in tears and some trying to reach loved ones by cell phone.

“I was worried the building would explode, so I got out of there fast,” said Lori Claymont, who fled an adjoining building in sweatpants.

On Sunday, the day after the Yankees were eliminated from the playoffs, Lidle cleaned out his locker at Yankee Stadium and talked about his interest in flying.

He explained to reporters the process of getting a pilot’s license, and said he intended to fly back to California in several days and planned to make a few stops. Lidle disccused the plane crash of John F. Kennedy Jr. and how he had read the accident report on the National Transportation Safety Board Web site.

Lidle, acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies on July 30, told The New York Times last month that his four-seat Cirrus SR20 plane was safe.

“The whole plane has a parachute on it,” Lidle said. “Ninety-nine percent of pilots that go up never have engine failure, and the 1 percent that do usually land it. But if you’re up in the air and something goes wrong, you pull that parachute, and the whole plane goes down slowly.”

Lidle pitched 1 1/3 innings in the fourth and final game of the Division Series against the Detroit Tigers and gave up three earned runs, but was not the losing pitcher. He had a 12-10 regular-season record with a 4.85 ERA.

He pitched with the Phillies before coming to the Yankees. Began his career in 1997 with the Mets. He also pitched for Tampa Bay, Oakland, Toronto and Cincinnati.

Lidle was an outcast among some teammates throughout his career because he became a replacement player in 1995, when major leaguers were on strike.

– “Yanks’ Lidle Believed Among 2 Dead in Plane Crash” – WCBS-TV

BREAKING NEWS – 3:15 p.m. Central Time

CAPTION: The photo below was a live shot – time taken unknown.
Photo Credit:
AP Photo/Courtesy WCBS-TV

At shortly before 3p.m. Eastern time, an aircraft crashed into an Upper-East side Manhattan Apartment Building. There are conflicting reports on whether the aircraft that crashed was a small fixed-wing plane, or a helicopter.

As a precaution NORAD has scrambled fighter jets over major cities (per Agence France-Presse).

The apartment building is located at 72nd & York Avenue; 524 E. 72nd Street. According to a report at WCBS-TV several apartments appeared to be completely engulfed in flames and plumes of smoke could be seen coming from floors 40 & 41. In an article at Yahoo! by the Associated Press a Fire Department spokeswoman is reported as saying the crash occurred on the 20th floor. That report from the Associated Press stated that 3 apartments were fully engulfed. (I am not sure if the fire is out at this time or not.)

Police have reportedly confirmed that at least two people have died as a result of this incident. There was no report of other injuries at this point.

The FAA is already saying they believe this is an accident, and the FBI is already assuring everyone that this was definitely NOT terrorism – but at this point the aircraft has not been identified, the pilot or any passengers have not been identified, and a helicopter that was very close did not hear any Mayday calls from this plane before it crashed into the building. The article states that the FBI confirmed that officials have been sent to the scene “as a matter of routine.”

[Frankly, I think the authorities should stop playing games with us, and stop telling us things that they do not know. How can they possibly know that this was not terrorism when so many questions have yet to be answered? It is a complete insult to our intelligence to start spewing such nonsense at this point… Why can’t they just say, “We don’t know much right now, we’re still investigating” How hard would that be?]


Aircraft Slams Into Building On Upper East Side” – Ch. 2 WCBS-TV (CBS) – CBS Corporation – New York, New York, US – 11 October 2006
[VIDEO coverage is available at the WCBS Website.]


[. . .] Gordon McMahon, who lives in a nearby apartment building, witnessed the accident. He told CBS-2 News he heard a strange sound just before the impact.

“The sound before the impace — really we hear a lot of choppers around here — and the sound did not have the normal sound of a chopper. It sounded more like a firework, as if it’s going up into the air,” McMahon said. “Before the impact, it was sort of a buzzing sound. I was reading something, and then heard that sound and then the impact and then saw the fireball.”

A resident ofa building from across the street told CBS-2 News that heavy debris began falling from the building.

“I just heard a zooming noise, like something falling, and then a huge explosion,” the resident, identified as “Joanne” said.

There was word that a helicopter was seen flying near the area on an apparent photography tour, but there is NO confirmaton that that is the aircraft which collided into the luxury high-rise building. Several witnesses [sic – paragraph ends here, continues with next paragraph]

“My first though was my God, we’re being under attack again,” said Dr. Rock Pazzatano, a surgeon at a hospital near the building. “It didn’t sound like your typical fender-bender, it sounded like 20 fender benders.”

The White House has learned about the incident and is monitoring the situation, but so far there is no word that the crash is terrorist related. [Cont’d. . .]

– “Aircraft Slams Into Building On Upper East Side” – Ch. 2 WCBS-TV (CBS –

AIRCRAFT CRASHES INTO MANHATTAN BUILDING” – Associated Press (AP) – Yahoo! News – Yahoo! Inc. – Sunnyvale, California, US – 11 October 2006 – Published at approximately: 2:12 p.m. Central Time
[Slideshow Available on Yahoo! Website; “
Small Plane Crashes Into N.Y. High-rise“]


A small aircraft crashed into a high-rise on the Upper East Side, setting off a fire and startling New Yorkers, police said. There were conflicting reports on whether the aircraft was a small plane or a helicopter.

Fire Department spokeswoman Emily Rahimi said an aircraft struck the 20th floor of a building on East 72nd Street. Witnesses said the crash caused a loud noise, and burning and falling debris was seen. Flames were seen shooting out of the windows. Video from the scene showed at least three apartments in the high rise fully engulfed in flames.

“There’s huge pieces of debris falling,” said one witnes who refused to give her full name. “There’s so much falling now, I’ve got to get away.”

Whether anyone was injured was not known, and it was unclear if the crash was an act of terrorism. [Cont’d. . .]

– “Aircraft crashes into Manhattan building” – Yahoo! News

US SCRAMBLES FIGHTERS AFTER NY PLANE CRASH” – Agence France-Presse (AFP) – Breitbart News –, LLC – Los Angeles, California, US – 11 October 2006 – 4:04 p.m. US/Eastern


US authorities scrambled fighter jets above US cities as a precaution after a small plane crashed into an apartment building in New York, a top commander said.

Admiral Tim Keating, commander of the US Northern Command, would not say how many cities were under air cover but insisted there was no sign of terrorism in the accident on Manhattan’s post Upper East Side.

“Fighters, along with early warning systems, they’ve been up there for half an hour, 45 minuted,” Keating told CNN.
[Cont’d . . .]

– “US Authorities Scrambled Fighters After NY Plane Crash” – Breitbart News (


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