AMERICAN AIRLINES JET CRASHES IN NEW YORK, KILLING 265
American Reporter Staff
NOVEMBER 13, 2001 -- An Airbus A-300 widebody passenger jet broke apart = in mid-air shortly after takeoff Monday en route to the Dominican Republic = and slammed into the small residential community of Far Rockaways in the bo= rough of Queens, an area of New York City already devastated by the loss of=
some 750 residents in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Authorities reported that 265 people, including 255 passengers and cre= w and five infants in their parents' laps, along with at least five people = on the ground were killed.
The jet crashed about 144 seconds after takeoff, and recovered flight da= ta and cockpit voice recorders could provide little reason why. Although t= errorism is not suspected in the crash, it was clear that the unique destru= ction of the plane by the sudden and catastrophic loss of engines and wing = parts will baffle investigators for some time to come.
It was a harsh blow to the nation's largest airline, already battered by= the loss of American Airlines Flight 11 that slammed into the World Trade = Center's north tower on Sept. 11 after it was hijacked by Middle East terro= rists and used as a weapon of mass destruction against the people of New Yo= rk City.
A second American Airlines flight, also with passengers aboard, crashe= d into the Pentagon shortly after the fuirst loss; both planes were Boeing = 767s.
Firemen sped to the scene and quickly put out the fires started on the g= round. Stunned residents told reporters and National Transportation Safety= Board investigators they had seen one engine drop to the ground -- narrowl= y missing the fuel pumps when it landed in a gas station -- and a part of t= he win fall off before the crash, which they said cast huge pall of black s= moke over the seaside Rockaways on an exceptionally clear and beautiful New= York morning.
Notified of the crash, President George W. Bush offered condolences to t= he families and urged New Yorkers to remain strong in the face of the many = adversities they have faced with such courage in recent weeks.