Manhattan, Jan 16: Minutes after it took off, a US Airways Airbus 320 crashed into the Hudson River off West-side Manhattan on Friday, Jan 16. The Airbus carrying 148 passengers and six crew members was on a domestic flight. Rescue workers and ferries reached the scene within minutes. All passengers were rescued safely. Passengers shivered at minus 6 degrees Celsius as they were plucked from wings and water. All were wearing life jackets and some had wrapped themselves in blankets.
Initial reports said that the pilot reported of double bird hit, but it is not yet clear whether he was talking about two birds being sucked into one engine or one each in two engines. The passengers said to the sources that the pilot declared an emergency and had asked them to 'prepare for impact' just before the plane hit water.
The plane which took off from LaGuardia Airport in New York was heading towards Charlotte, North Caroline. Some other reports claim that the pilot was trying to take the plane to another smaller airport when it crashed.
Pilot Chesley Sullenberger III hailed 'Hero of Hudson'
The pilot of the Airbus which crashed into the icy waters off New York was hailed as a hero, after coolly overseeing the miraculous escape of 155 passengers and crew. The US media hailed Chesley Sullenberger III, a former fighter pilot for the smooth landing the plane's belly-first onto the Hudson River averting major tragedy.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg told to media, "I had a long conversation with the pilot. He walked the plane twice after everybody else was off. And tried to verify that there was nobody else onboard. And assures us there were not. The first and most important thing is, this pilot did a wonderful job, and it would appear that all roughly 155, including crew and one infant, got out safely." Mayor hailed the pilot as the 'true Hero of Hudson.'
OneIndia News (With inputs from Agencies)