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American Airlines Plane Crashes In New York
Four Homes On Fire
Posted: 9:29 a.m. EST November 12, 2001
Updated: 10:10 a.m. EST November 12, 2001
NEW YORK -- An American Airlines Airbus A300 crashed Monday morning in the Queens section of New York, and four homes reportedly were on fire in the neighborhood in the Rockaway section of Queens.
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The plane crashed shortly after 9 a.m. ET, and thick, black smoke could be scene in televised reports. It was reportedly headed to JFK, but the origin of the flight was undetermined.
Bill Schumann of the Federal Aviation Administration said there was no immediate indication of what caused the crash. He said the plane could hold up to 275 passengers, and crashed about five miles from Kennedy Airport. There were 246 passengers and 9 crewmembers aboard the flight, according to CNN.
Asked if terrorism is suspected, Schumann said that all options are open at the time and they have very little information. Defense officials say that while combat jets were flying over the sky as is routine, there were not any reports of suspicious activity or distress calls.
Television images show thick black smoke rising from the scene. The smoke was seen turning white, which could indicate that the flames were being put out.
Fox News Channel reports it was an American Airlines flight 587. All three New York City airports were closed to air travel. They include LaGuardia, JFK and Newark airports.
Mayor Rudolph Giuliani has canceled his morning events and is heading to the scene.
FAA said American Airlines Flight 587, an Airbus A300, crashed. It was on its way to Santo Domingo Dominican Republic
It was a "level 1" emergency, which means all emergency personnel are advised to go to the crash scene. All the major tunnels heading into New York have been closed.
Reports have varied throughout the morning. The FAA said there seems to be no indication of a terrorist attack.
A witness said he saw debris falling from the sky, at the scene of today's plane crash.
He told the Fox News Channel that four homes are on fire.
Another man told CNN that he was 40 blocks away, and saw "tons and tons of smoke." He said, "Lots of people are standing in the streets.
A woman who lives near the scene of the crash said she heard the engines of a plane -- "loud and low" -- before the crash.
Phyllis Paul told CNN she looked out the window to see a "silvery piece of metal" falling from the sky, several blocks away.
Then, she said, she heard an explosion.
She said she and her son went outside and saw the black smoke rising from the Queens crash site. She said it was "horrifying."
Paul said the sound of the plane gave her a "chill" -- because of what happened on Sept. 11.
The flight was an American Airlines jet, which had taken off from Kennedy Airport -- several miles from the crash site. It was headed to the Dominican Republic.
The crash came two months and a day after the attack on the World Trade Center.
The American Airlines phone number relatives information line is (800) 245-0999.