NEW YORK (AP) — A US Airways plane has crashed into the Hudson River, sending passengers fleeing for safety in the frigid waters. Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Laura Brown says the US Airways Flight 1549 had just taken off from LaGuardia Airport enroute to Charlotte, N.C., on Thursday when the crash occured in the river near 48th Street in midtown Manhattan.
Brown says the plane, an Airbus 320, may have been hit by birds.
The plane was submerged in the icy waters up to the windows. Rescue crews had opened the door and were pulling passengers in yellow life vests from the plane. Several boats surrounded the plane, which appeared to be slowly sinking.
New York City firefighters are responding to the crash. It was not immediately clear if there were injuries.
"I saw what appeared to be a tail fin of a plane sticking out of the water," said Erica Schietinger, whose office windows at Chelsea Piers look out over the Hudson. "All the boats have sort of circled the area. ... I can't tell what's what at this point."
(Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.)