It appears a small aircraft has hit a condo building in New York City. Officials are reporting two confirmed dead. They are also saying there is no indication it was a terrorist act. As of the last report, they have not identified the airplane or offered any real explanation of what happened yet.
Christine Monaco, a New York spokeswoman for, said there was no indication of terrorism, but that officials "have been sent to the scene as a routine." FAA spokesman Jim Peters said all three New York City-area airports were operating normally.
"The initial indication is that there is a terrible accident," said Department ofspokesman Russ Knocke.
The aircraft struck the 20th floor of a building on East 72nd Street, said Fire Department spokeswoman Emily Rahimi. Witnesses said the crash caused a loud noise, and flames were seen shooting out of the windows.
"It's a mob scene with police and helicopters circling," said Sandy Teller, watching from his apartment a block away. "There's a dozen ambulances and lots of firefighters waiting on 72nd, on the corner. There's lots of stretchers ready, gurneys. And lots of emergency people waiting."
The crash struck fear in a city devastated by the attacks of Sept. 11 five years ago. Witnesses said sirens echoed across the east side of Manhattan as emergency workers rushed to the scene. The crash triggered a loud bang. Broken glass and debris was strewn around the neighborhood.
"There's a sense of helplessness," Teller said. "Cots and gurneys, waiting. It's a mess."
Thesaid it was too early to determine what type of aircraft was involved, or what might have caused the crash in the middle of a hazy October afternoon.
More as this develops.
UPDATE: The New York Times has pictures and a map.
UPDATE: A New York Yankees player, pitcher Cory Lidle appears to have been one of the victims. It is reported to be his personal airplane.
UPDATE: Screw Loose Change is documenting the Rapid Response Conspiracy Theory Team™ – They are already in full fantasy mode. A Blog For All was practically live blogging this, by the way. You can get a feel for how information develops in the media over there. It's like a time capsule.