Update: AA Crash Possible Accident
As had also been previously speculated by New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said of Monday morning's crash of a Santa Domingo-bound American Airlines Airbus A300, "It's looking like it's not a terrorist attack." At a White House briefing, Fleischer said that the National Transportation Safety Board had been named the lead investigative agency into the tragedy of AA Flight 587, which crashed at approximately 9:17 a.m., three minutes after takeoff from John F. Kennedy International Airport. The fact that the NTSB, and not the FBI, was assigned to the probe is a signal that authorities have no information other than that a malfunction -- and not a terrorist attack -- was the cause of bringing down the plane with 255 passengers and crew members aboard. (Still, the FBI has said that it has not completely ruled out terrorism in the catastrophe.) Fleischer said that President Bush was informed of the crash within minutes of its occurrence in a residential section of Queens, N.Y., and that Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge rushed to the White House Situation Room to confer with other senior officials on a conference call. The chief executive spoke with Giuliani and Gov. George Pataki and "expressed to both of them his deepest sympathy for the people of New York to be enduring any other trauma," Fleischer said. Later news reports said that the aircraft's black box had been retrieved from the wreckage of its scattered crash sites and was turned over to the FAA.
Family members of passengers on Flight 587 may call American Airlines at (800) 245-0999. The airline has requested that family members only use the number.
For more on this story, click here.
On Newsstands Now
- Angelina: Inside Her Brave Choice
- New Details on the Ohio Three
- Prince Harry Takes America!
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine