Just the day after 2 months of the aftermath of the much visible reminder of the 9-11 attacks on the WTC, I am writing you again to report yet another tragedy.
This morning at 9:17 am EST, AA Flight # 587, an Airbus A-300 crashed into a Queens, NY neighborhood near the JFK airport, with 255 passengers and crew on board. No survivors recovered or expected.
At 12:30 EST it is not determined if this was a case of sabotage, terrorist activity or mechanical error. What I do know is:
The airplane was en route to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. There are no apparent military implications as stated yet. There are no reports of terrorists claims yet and no unusual communications between the tower and pilots were reported prior to the plane crashing. It is unsure if the transponder code was still on at time of alleged explosion.
Witnesses report that they saw pieces of the plane falling down following a loud explosion and groaning sound. Some people saw the engine separate while other pieces fell off the plane.
This somewhat unknown neighborhood was struggling to recover their share of loss from the WTC and they have endured through the painful funerals and the ongoing cleanup at Ground Zero.
Surrounding hospitals are on standby to assist people who were injured from falling debris and smoke inhalation. Smoke covers approximately a 3 block radius, and an undetermined amount of homes are completely engulfed in flames. Police activity is again at heightened alert. Firefighters are at the scene putting out fires from the initial crash site and the jet fuel that sprayed over a large area. The aircraft came in from a vertical projectory and pieces of the plane are now being found in the bay.
The main bridges in and from NYC are now open (they were immediately closed at first report of the crash), with the exception of two bridges into Rockaway. Every truck is being searched, and the tunnels are running quite slow due to the security checkpoints. There is limited bus service into Manhattan and to Long Island.
Governor Pataki and Mayor Giuliani are at the scene and FIMA representatives are on their way also. Press Conferences are underway and every precaution is being taken and every action considered. The UN is in a partial lockdown.
Bodies are being recovered but no confirmed survivors from the airplane. Four children were rescued from a burning home and quite a few people are being treated for minor injuries. Obviously, people are stunned and emotions are on edge while everyone is waiting for more details and reasoning to yet another loss.
AA has established a phone number for families of the passengers aboard the flight to call: 1-800-245-0999.
Praying is all I can do at this moment, while I watch the news broadcast live and journal the process.
God, please be with us and bless America. Comfort your children at this time of need and as we continue to heal from the 9-11 terrorist attacks. Amen.
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