Yankee pitcher Lidle killed in Manhattan plane crash
Yankees pitcher's plane crashes into Manhattan high-rise
POSTED: 5:23 p.m. EDT, October 11, 2006
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle was the sole person aboard the plane that crashed Wednesday into a high-rise apartment building in New York, FBI officials told CNN.
Emergency responders found his passport in the street below, the officials said.
The small airplane was a Cirrus SR-20 registered to Lidle, 34, said Yankees manager Joe Torre.(Watch witness accounts of cascading fireballs and a plane split in half -- 1:58 Video)
There was a mayday, FAA reports, from the pilot involving a problem with fuel before the aircraft crashed into the 50-story high-rise on Manhattan's East Side.
One other person was reportedly killed, according to the New York City Fire Department and New York City Police Department.
Flames shot out from several windows midway up the luxury high-rise in a residential neighborhood. Paramedics and rescue workers are treating people on the ground.
The Federal Aviation Administration described the plane as a "general aviation" fixed-wing aircraft flying under visual flight rules, meaning a pilot was flying by visual landmarks. (Watch the orange flames ravage the apartment -- 1:50)
The plane hit the Belaire Condominiums at 524 E. 72nd Street near the East River. More than 150 firefighters are on scene of a four-alarm fire in the building.
Immediately after the crash NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) said it had put fighter aircraft into the air over numerous U.S. cities, though they said they had no reason to believe the event in New York was anything more than an accident, sources told CNN's Barbara Starr. NORAD did the same thing after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
NORAD Admiral Timothy Keating told CNN within an hour after the crash that the agency believed terrorism was not involved.
Steve Coleman, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs New York area airports said he had "no idea where [the plane] came from."
"We haven't heard from any of our facilities that anything's missing," said Coleman.
New York City government source told CNN there are "no indications of terrorism."
The FAA placed a one-mile flight restriction around the site of the crash, but New York area airports were not affected.
A senior U.S. official in Washington said the administration was waiting for more information.
Witness Henry Neimark, who is also a pilot, said he saw a plane flying at relatively low altitude which seemed to come from LaGuardia International Airport.
It was a cloudy, rainy day, but not horribly foggy.
This is the second Yankee to die as a pilot in a plane crash. Former Yankee captain catcher Thurman Munson died in a plane crash in Ohio in 1979.
posted by Steve @ 5:43:00 PM