By JONATHAN WEEKS and GENEVIEVE LONG for The Epoch Times
NEW YORK—The scene at the crash site of US Airways flight 1549 on Thursday was eerily quiet as police, ambulances, firefighters, hazmat specialists, family members and bystanders waited. Of the 150 passengers and 5 crew members aboard the aircraft, no injuries or fatalities were reported.
The Airbus A320 was en route to Charlotte, North Carolina from New York’s LaGuardia airport when it was forced to land on the Hudson River in Manhattan. The plane took off at approximately 3:03 p.m. EST.
“I don’t know about the other passengers, if they all survived, but I’m glad to be alive,” said one unidentified man who was being interviewed by a throng of news media on the scene.
As the plane listed in the Hudson Rivers, passengers and crew aboard climbed out and waited on the wings of the aircraft to be rescued. It became imperative that survivors were taken out of the frigid water quickly, as it was one of the coldest days of the year.
Emergency personnel remained on the scene as survivors of the crash were picked up by boat and brought to the Lincoln Tunnel Ferry building. Survivors slowly trickled out to waiting ambulances. New York City police closed entrances to the Westside Highway and other roads in the vicinity of the wreck.
The cause of the crash is unknown, and airline officials as urging the media not to make speculations in the interim.
“It is premature to speculate about the cause of this accident,” said US Airways CEO Doug Parker during a press conference from Tempe, Arizona, before departing for LaGuardia Airport.
More information will be provided as it becomes available from New York City’s Office of Emergency Management. A family assistance center has been set up at the Crowne Plaza Hotel at 104-04 Ditmars Plaza, in Queens, New York, and family members can contact the US Airways hotline for information at 1-800-679-8215.
The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate to determine the probable cause of the accident.