Friday, 13 October 2006 00:42

Manhattan Plane Crash Kills Professional Baseball Player

An airplane hitting into a Manhattan high rise yesterday, at first spurred renewed terror fears, however the accident was quickly labeled just that, an accident. Witnesses described seeing what appeared to be an aircraft in distress, possibly having mechanical problems. A woman whom witnessed the crash said parts of the plane and the building began "flying everywhere" onto the streets below. Broken glass and debris was strewn about the neighborhood. A man working in a nearby building said he heard what he thought was a motorcycle, followed by a bang. When he ran out, he looked up and saw smoke, then heard people saying they were hurt. It was a group of utility workers, apparently hit by flying debris.
Members of the New York Yankees organization expressed shock and sorrow Wednesday after news that pitcher Cory Lidle was aboard a small plane that slammed into the luxury apartment building Lidle also played for the Rivercats and the Stockton Ports. Yankee’s Team owner George Steinbrenner issued a statement calling it a "terrible and shocking tragedy" and offering "deep condolences and prayers" to Lidle's wife and son. On the team's Web site, manager Joe Torre said that while Lidle's time with the Yankees was short, he proved himself to be "a good teammate and a great competitor." FBI officials confirmed Lidle, 34, was one of two people killed in the crash of the Cirrus SR20 small plane into the 50-story residential Belaire building on East 72nd Street and York Avenue around 3 p.m. ET Wednesday. Lidle was an avid pilot who got his flying license after last year's off-season. He and the Yankees ended their season on Saturday with a playoff loss to the Detroit Tigers. It was initially thought that Lidle was flying alone, but New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said there was another person on board. FBI officials said Lidle's passport was found in the street below the wreckage. Shortly after the crash, flames could be seen shooting from several 20th floor windows of the exclusive condominium complex on New York City's Upper East Side. The FAA said it's too early to say what might have caused the crash. The plane took off from Teterboro Airport in New Jersey at 2:29 Eastern Daylight Time, circled the Statue of Liberty and headed up the East River before crashing into the building.