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A Plane Crashes in Queens, New York, Killing 260 People On Board and at Least 6 More On Theground. It’s Hard for a Shaky Country to Believe, But the Crash Appears to Be An Accident

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Three minutes after taking off from New York’s Kennedy Airport yesterday morning, an American Airlines jetliner boundfor the Dominican Republic suddenly broke apart and plunged into a Queens neighborhood.

While the crash of American Airlines Flight 587 immediately raised fears of a new terrorist attack, federalinvestigators said last night there was no evidence to suggest that the disaster was anything but an accident.

Soon after the plane exploded, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani declared a Level 1 Emergency Response, closing down all threeNew York area airports, and shutting down bridge and tunnel access to and from the city.

According to the Bush administration and the federal aviation administration, there is as yet no indication of whatcaused the crash. White House and FBI spokespeople say they could not rule terrorism out, but that the tragedy wasbeing treated as an accident.

The crash happened two months and a day after the Sept. 11 suicide hijackings of four jetliners ­ two of themAmerican Airlines flights ­ which resulted in the deaths of more than 5,000 people.

The Rockaway community was home to many of the New York firefighters who died two months ago when the twin towers ofthe World Trade Center collapsed after being struck and set afire by two of the hijacked planes. Yesterday morningFree Speech Radio News correspondent Geoff Brady went out into the streets of Rockaway and this is some of what heheard.

Tape:

  • Sounds of the street in Rockaway, Queens, after the crash of American Airlines Flight 587.

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