All 155 passengers and crew on board a US airliner, forced to ditch in New York’s Hudson River have had what is being described as a “miracle” escape.
The A320 Airbus had taken off minutes earlier, bound for Charlotte in North Carolina. At a hastily convened press conference, Doug Parker, Chief Executive of US Airways, said: “It is premature to speculate about the cause of this accident, out of respect for those affected we would ask that you also resist the temptation to speculate.” “The National Transportation Safety Board will conduct a thorough investigation to determine the probable cause, with our complete support and the support of many others,” he added. Passengers waited, some of them standing up to their knees in water, on the wings of the stricken craft as coast guard vessels and ferries raced to save them. Rescue services say most of the injured were suffering only from the effects of hypothermia and bruises. The most serious injury is believed to have been two broken legs suffered by one survivor with others suffering only minor cuts and bruises. Survivor Bill Zuhoski said: “To be honest the only thing I remember the pilot saying was brace yourself for impact. “Even as we were going down it seemed like the pilot had control, but once the stewardess started to panic then everybody kind of realised what was going on, but, until then, you know, maybe a minute bfore we went down and crashed, everybody really didn’t think anything of it,” he said. The pilot, Chelsey “Sully” Sullenberger, who is being hailed a hero for carrying out a “masterful” landing, is reported to have called in a double bird strike, shortly after take off from New York’s LaGuardia airport.