American Airliners passenger jet crashes after takeoff in NY
Monday, November 12, 2001
NEW YORK (AP) -- An American Airlines flight that had just taken off for the Dominican Republic crashed Monday, and buildings reportedly were on fire in the Queens section of New York City.
Flight 587, an Airbus A300 that can hold 275 passengers, crashed shortly after 9 a.m. and thick, black smoke could be seen miles away. There was no report of the number of casualties, either on the plane or on the ground.
Thick, black smoke could be seen miles away from the crash in the Rockaways section of Queens.
The crash came two months after the attack on the World Trade Center, which was destroyed by two Boeing 767s hijacked out of Boston's Logan Airport. One of the planes was operated by American, the other by United.
Bill Schumann of the Federal Aviation Administration said there was no immediate indication of what caused the crash. He said the plane crashed about five miles from Kennedy Airport.
All metro area airports -- Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark -- were closed following the crash, in Rockaway, Queens. The Office of Emergency Management said all bridges and tunnels in the city were closed except to emergency vehicles.
Planes were being diverted, and Delta Air Lines spokeswoman Peggy Estes said the airline was working to account for all its planes.
The mayor canceled his morning events and headed to the scene.
One eyewitness reported debris falling from sky, and told the Fox News Channel four homes were on fire.
Another told CNN he was 40 blocks away and saw "just a lot of smoke. Tons and tons of smoke. You can see emergency vehicles heading to the area. Lots of people are standing in the streets. It's very tense."