No casualties and few serious injuries in emergency touchdown
By Matthew B. Zeidman
NEW YORK (Hollywood Today) 1/15/09 – In what was described by New York Gov. David Patterson as a miraculous landing, all 155 crew members and passengers of US Airways Flight 1549 were pulled from the wrecked jet that was forced into New York’s Hudson River Thursday afternoon.
The pilot of the Airbus A320, which had taken off from LaGuardia Airport at 3:26 p.m. bound for Charlotte, N.C., reported birds flying into two of the aircraft’s engines shortly after departure, a rep for the National Air Traffic Controllers Union told the Associated Press. He received orders to land at New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport, but was forced to touch down in the Hudson alongside midtown Manhattan.
The Coast Guard and commuter ferries assisted police, firefighters and Port Authority officials in bringing the survivors, many of whom waited on the partially submerged wing of the aircraft, to safety.
Emergency responders told AP one passenger’s legs were broken and others were treated for bruises and hypothermia. The air temperature was in the low 20s (F) at the time of the crash, and the water temperature was in the low 40s.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg praised the anonymous pilot, later identified by AP as 29-year US Airways veteran Chelsey B. Sullenberger III, 58, for his “masterful” handling of the situation, including ensuring the post-crash evacuation of everyone on board the plane.
US Airways set up a toll-free hotline for concerned family members to check on the status of their relatives who were involved in the accident and arrange to reunite with them. That number is (800) 679-8215.