Small Plane Crashes Into Hudson River, No Survivors Reported
A small twin-engine plane crashed into the Hudson River near Albany, NY on Thursday afternoon. No survivors of the crash have been recovered.
The plane, which took off from Columbia County Airport in Hudson, crashed into the river in the town of Catskill in Greene County at about 4:30pm, according to authorities.
New York State police say the pilot was a local resident, whose name has not yet been released. It's unknown whether he was carrying any other passengers aboard the aircraft. No bodies have been recovered from the water as of yet.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the plane broke apart and sank instantly upon impact. Jet fuel leaked into the surrounding water, preventing emergency crews from immediately entering the river to search for the remains of the plane or its passenger(s).
"Debris was found floating on the river and [emergency officials] believe they know where the plane hit, so we marked that area," state police Captain Robert Patnaude told reporters. "We're getting divers together and a haz-mat team to get out there, because there's some plane fuel in the water. We believe that will disperse. Once that does, we'll be able to start a recovery mission."
Witness reports vary regarding what happened upon impact as the plane hit the water. Several local fisherman report seeing the tip of the plane's wing hit the water and then saw the plane submerge. Other witnesses say the plane broke apart upon impact before sinking. Still others say the plane burst into flames shortly after impact and became fully submerged in the water within ten minutes.
"I saw it coming down, but I thought it was an amphibious plane coming to land in the water," Kierlan Donohoe, a resident of nearby Germantown told Mid-Hudson News. "I looked away and heard a crash and looked back and knew that it just crashed."
Emergency responders will be searching the river Friday for evidence of the crash and say they expect to find the plane by the end of the day.
The Federal Aviation Administration says it will conduct an investigation into the crash.
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