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Passenger Recalls Crash Landing and Rescue

Friday, January 16, 2009

A U.S. Airways pilot is being praised for crash landing a plane in the Hudson River. The FAA says a flock of birds may have knocked out both engines. WNYC's Cindy Rodriguez was at the site of the crash.

REPORTER: Dozens of fire trucks and emergency vehicles raced down Twelfth Avenue to reach the site of the accident. The plane went down near 48th Street and eventually drifted down river. At a nearby command center, rescue workers brought heavy grey blankets to rescued passengers pulled from the freezing water. A few were carried off on stretchers. Thirty-one-year-old Jeff Kolodjay from Norwalk, Connecticut, was on the plane. He was quickly surrounded by reporters as he described what happened.

KOLODJAY: I'm wet from probably my waist down. The plane just filled with water real quick, really, really quick. And all the guys on the plane did a great job at making sure that women and children got off first.

REPORTER: All 155 passengers survived the crash. Mayor Bloomberg said the pilot did a "masterful job of landing the plane and then making sure everyone got out." For WNYC, I'm Cindy Rodriguez.

HOST: A team of National Transportation Safety Board investigators has begun a full investigation.

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