ReelSolidTV Episode 26

Yankees’ Cory Lidle Plane Crash on 72nd Street in Manhattan, NYC

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 two people, authorities said.
There was no immediate confirmation Lidle was among the dead, and earlier reports indicated four had died. A law enforcement official in Washington, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Associated Press that Lidle was on the plane. And Federal Aviation Administration records showed the single-engine plane was registered to the athlete, National Transportation Safety Board spokeswoman Deborah Hersman told reporters.

An instructor and a student pilot were on the plane when it struck the tower at 524 E. 72nd St., New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. “The metal parts are basically in the street. The engine was on one of the floors,” he said.

“The initial indication is that there is a terrible accident,” Homeland Security Department spokesman Russ Knocke said, and Bloomberg said there was “nothing to suggest that anything remotely like terrorism was involved in this.” Nevertheless, fighter jets were scrambled over U.S. cities as a precaution, the Pentagon said.

The crash at the Belaire overlooking the East River struck fear in a city devastated by the attacks of Sept. 11 five years ago. Sirens echoed across the neighborhood as emergency workers and ambulances rushed in with stretchers. Broken glass and debris were strewn around the neighborhood.

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  1. Bill,
    It is so incredible when the folk who reside in an area where something like this occurs get the chance to take the camera out and give the pure product to those of us not there. It makes our country and our world feel less small and more intimate.

    Thanks for that.
    P.S. love the chopper shot at the end.

  2. Thank you Bill for these images.

    We can heard a french voice at the 3/4 of the video: “ça fume déjà beaucoup”, then a person seems to explain that is the water of firemen. Do I have clearly understand the sense of the voices ?


  3. You’re welcome, Mistress & Aurelien 😀

    Aurélien: Yes… that makes sense to me. When I saw the scene on television before going there, the apartments were on fire. When I came back after filming what you watched in this video, the television was STILL showing the apartments on fire. Actually, they showed those fire images for most of the day. :/

    You saw the first thing I saw, because I left the camera running the whole time. There was smoke coming out of the apartments, but no flames. At one point, I saw a stream of smoke that seemed to be spraying straight out of the building in a stream instead of coming out of the window in a cloud and rising. I assumed that was because firemen were spraying water from the inside, and the smoke was being carried out of the apartment on the stream.

    That’s what I figure the voices were discussing.

  4. Hello Bill,

    Thank you for your precisions. It’s cool. sorry for my english. Your film is very interesting.

    Indeed, in viewing it, these two streams intrigued myself, and so the violence of the policeman who said: “out of the street !”… Can I ask you some questions about the scene ? Were people frightened generally ? How was the “ambiance” in the street, during the way to the place of the crash ?

    do you know this other video ?

    There is an interesting scene too, at 8 min 06 sec: a woman was interviewed by a reporter of NBC4, but it seems that this interview was never brodcasted on TV or on the web…


  5. Aurélien: It’s interesting that you mention the ‘violence’ in the voice of the policeman. I hadn’t considered or thought about that. To be fair… in this situation, there was an endless stream of New Yorkers that had heard about the crash, and were trying to see the site for themselves. It took me at least 30 minutes to get there after I heard about it, so there’s no telling when they initially blocked off the area. I can imagine that that same policeman had been responsible for over an hour for clearing that area out, but as soon as he might have announced that people can’t stand there, another group of people showed up that had never heard him say that and filled the space up again. I would assume that what you perceived as ‘violence’ was actually the policeman attempting to clear the area ASAP (as soon as possible), and raising his voice in an attempt to assert authority, not to be intimidating to anyone.

    Also, in NYC, there are a lot of things that are loud. People are loud talking to each other. Sirens are loud. Trucks are loud going down the street. The policeman needed to do something to be heard by a bunch of people, because there were a lot of people talking loudly to each other, and it would have been tough to hear him. He would have needed to raise his voice, but also, the first time(s) he would have given orders, a lot of people wouldn’t have recognized his speech as an official speaking directly to them. He needed to do something to differentiate himself from the crowd noise, and let people know that he was serious and that they needed to clear the street… NOW! I was down there for about an hour, and as far as I saw, nobody acted aggressively towards anybody, police or civilians. The focus was really on the crash, firemen containing the fire, police securing the scene and people trying to see what happened.

    As far as being frightened, I can’t speak for other people, but I didn’t see anything frightening about the situation. 72nd street is a residential area. There’s nothing of ‘importance’ in that area for anyone to target, so I assumed that it was pilot error or mechanical failure. As far as the building, it’s relatively wide compared to the area of it that got hit, so there wasn’t any fear of collapse. Actually, officials went on TV that day and said that there wasn’t any structural damage to the building. As far as the people that I encountered on the way there or when I got there, they were more curious than anything else. As New Yorkers, we’re pretty much conditioned by the news to expect ANYTHING to happen here. I think the focus was more on seeing something with your eyes that was on the news than being frightened or worried about anything.

    Actually, you can kind of tell in the video, but when I first came around the corner and was facing the building, I couldn’t tell what we were supposed to be looking at. I had seen a close-up on the television of the fire in the windows, and when I looked down the street, I couldn’t differentiate one high-rise from another. From the distance where I was, essentially one block away, if there hadn’t been all that police and fire department activity, I could have walked right by that block and never noticed that anything was going on at all. Except for the people that heard about it on the news (or had friends call them, like I did) and decided to go check it out….. it was “business as usual” around here.

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