The Empire State Building Plane Crash

1062 words - 5 pages

During the year 1945, many Americans were celebrating the end of the Europeanwar. A lieutenant colonel named William Smith, was one of the most remarkable people in the1940s. He was a twenty-seven year old West Point graduate who was also a combat veteran.Smith had flown for two years over European territories and was awarded the DistinguishedFlying Cross, the Air Medal, and the Croix de Guerre award for his wartime service in theEuropean war. Even though he was rewarded for what he had accomplished during the Europeanwar, William Smith's life still ended tragically in an incident that has scarred the history ofAmerica.On Saturday, July 28, 1945, Lt. Col. William Smith was on his way to ...view middle of the document...

At 9:49 a.m., the ten-ton, B-25 bomber smashed into the north side of the Empire StateBuilding. The plane crashed into the "Offices of the War Relief Services of the NationalCatholic Welfare Conference." The majority of the plane flew into the seventy-ninth floor,which created a hole in the building that was eighteen feet in width and twenty feet in length.The plane's high-octane fuel exploded, which created hurtling flames down the side of thebuilding and inside, through the hallways and stairwells from the seventy-ninth floor, all the waydown to the seventy-fifth floor. According to Catherine O'Conner,"The plane exploded within the building. There were five or sixseconds - I was tottering on my feet trying to keep my balance -and three-quarters of the office was instantaneously consumedin this sheet of flame. One man was standing inside the flame. Icould see him. It was a co-worker, Joe Fountain. His whole bodywas on fire. I kept calling to him, "Come on, Joe; come on, Joe."He walked out of it."Joe Fountain died several days later. Eleven of the office workers were burned to death,some still sitting at their desks, others while trying to run from the flames." One of the engineshurtled across the seventy-ninth floor, through wall partitions and two fire walls. The otherengine flew into an elevator shaft and landed onto an elevator car. The car began to plummetwhile there were two women inside; but miraculously, the fire fighters had found and rescuedthem just in time.Overall, the plane crash killed fourteen people; eleven office workers and ...


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