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Airplane crashes on way to Charlotte

US Airways flight 1549 from New York's LaGuardia airport crashed into the Hudson River approximately 20 minutes after taking off at 3:26 EST. The Airbus A320 plane, on it's way to Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, hit a flock of birds and experienced engine trouble soon after take-off. U.S. Coast Guard crews began rescue operations to remove the over 140 passengers and 5 crew members not long after the plane went down, according to FAA officials. It was below 20 degrees at the time of the crash. Stay tune for updates on this breaking news story.

Update, 4:44 pm EST / filed by Julius Jones: According to reports on the Huffington Post, all passengers and crew members were evacuated safely.

Update, 6:36 pm EST / filed by Alex Klein: The New York Times's City Room, the news blog that broke this story, is updating this post on their blog as news comes in. Much has been said about how the city's agencies and the plane's pilot handled this situation excellently, with effusive accolades coming from New York City's Mayor Bloomberg and New York state's Governor Paterson. We'll leave you with a few bits of North Carolina-related quotes from that live blog.

Governor Paterson said he spoke with a retired police officer from Charlotte, N.C., who was on the plane, and the officer said that “he’d participated in these types of rescues and he’d never seen anything this magnificent.”

And if you can figure out what this clip is saying, you, too, deserve accolades.

Mr. Bloomberg said he had spoken to the mayor of Charlotte and offered to but him talked to mayor of Charlotte and offered to buy him a drink. “I pointed out this is not normally the way people arrive in New York City,” he said. “But as long as everybody got out safely I think everything else is secondary.”

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