HUFFINGTON POST
02/15/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

US AIRWAYS CRASH: WITNESS ACCOUNTS

Here are witness accounts of this afternoon's crash of US Airways Flight 1549 into the Hudson River in New York City:

The New York Times reports:

"It made this huge, gigantic splash, and I actually thought it was a boat crash at first," said Fulmer Duckworth, 41, an employee at the Bank of America who watched the incident unfold from the 29th floor of his building at West 42nd Street and Sixth Avenue. "It didn't occur to me that it was a plane in the water."

Mr. Duckworth said he saw the plane spin counterclockwise in the water, and then begin drifting down the river with the current. The plane had taken off at 3:26 p.m., and the tide was on its way out, pulling the downed craft south down the frigid Hudson.

UPDATE 1/15 5:40 PM:

There were several Twitter accounts by witnesses:

Dennis Stratton account

Heather Dueitt's account

UPDATE 1/15 5:30 PM:

Here is video of people surrounding the plane in the vicinity of New York City's Battery Park:

UPDATE 1/15 4:40 PM:

The New York Daily News reports:

Many witnesses said they thought a movie was being shot, not realizing a real-life drama was being played out.

For others, the falling plane evoked horrible memories of the Sept. 11 attacks.

"I saw a plane flying really, really low and I just thought, 'Not again,'" said one witness.

"I heard a boom and I saw a splash," said Larry Brunson, a car repairman for the LIRR who was at 12th Ave. and 40th St. when the plane went down. "People were grabbing on top of the plane and a wing as it sank."

UPDATE 1/15 4:34 PM:

1010 Wins reports:

Witnesses said the plane's pilot appeared to guide the plane down.

"I see a commercial airliner coming down, looking like it's landing right in the water,'' said Bob Read, who saw it from his office at the television newsmagazine "Inside Edition.''

"This looked like a controlled descent.''

UPDATE 1/15 4:30 PM:

Bloomberg News is reporting:

Larry Witt, 42, an employee of Oxo International, a household products company on West 26th Street between 11th and 12th avenues, had an unobstructed view of the Hudson. Witt said he was looking out the window and saw the plane about a minute after it went down.

"It was just floating in the river," he told Bloomberg News. Then the front door opened, and soon "the entire wing was loaded with people."

UPDATE 1/15 4:20 PM:

CNN is reporting:

The plane approached the water at a gradual angle and made a big splash, according to a witness watching from an office building.

"It wasn't going particularly fast. It was a slow contact with the water that it made," said the witness, Ben VonKlemperer.

The Associated Press reports:

"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."

WCBS-TV reported:

Passengers could be seen standing on the wing of the plane and entering a rescue boat.

"It was just going down further and further and further and then all of a sudden it was gone," a witness named Peter told CBS 2. "I'm shaking, it was crazy. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. There was nothing wrong with the plane, it wasn't wobbling, there was no smoke coming out of it!"