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Small aircraft crashes into New York City building


Church of the Epiphany  

[Episcopal News Service]  A small fixed-wing aircraft crashed into a high-rise residential building located at 72nd Street and York Avenue in New York City around 2:45 p.m. on Wednesday, October 11, igniting several apartments and resulting in at least four fatalities.

New York's Federal Bureau of Investigation field office has squads that have responded to the scene and say that there is no indication that the crash was linked to an act of terrorism. The plane was reported to have taken off from Teterboro Airport in northern New Jersey earlier in the afternoon.

"We've heard from the Rev. Jennifer Linman at the Church of the Epiphany, located at 74th and First -- a mere two blocks from the plane crash," said Neva Rae Fox, director of communication for the Diocese of New York. "She reports that they are fine and the school kids are fine. The church will remain open to assist and also to continue their homeless feeding program."

The Episcopal Church Center is located at Second Avenue and 43rd Street in Manhattan.

Television footage from the scene showed fire and smoke pouring out of four windows on two upper floors of the 50-story condominium on Manhattan's Upper East Side. The crash rained flaming debris on the streets below. The affected building and one next door were both evacuated.

Despite indications that the crash was an accident, the North American air defense agency NORAD sent out fighter aircraft to patrol the airspace over several U.S. cities. It would not identify those cities.

Air traffic at LaGuardia Airport experienced delays of up to 45 minutes in length as a result of the accident.