Paths for freedom and progress
Empire State Building Plane Crash - 1945
HISTORY - 26/07/2018

The Empire State Building B-25 crash was a 1945 aircraft accident in which a B-25 Mitchell bomber, piloted in thick fog over New York City, crashed into the Empire State Building. The accident did not compromise the building's structural integrity, but it did cause fourteen deaths (three crewmen and eleven people in the building) and damage estimated at $1,000,000 ($13,593,346 in 2017 dollars).



On Saturday, July 28, 1945, Lieutenant Colonel William Franklin Smith Jr. was piloting a B-25 Mitchell bomber on a routine personnel transport mission from Bedford Army Air Field to Newark Airport.Smith asked for clearance to land, but was advised of zero visibility. Proceeding anyway, he became disoriented by the fog, and started turning right instead of left after passing the Chrysler Building.




At 9:40 a.m., the aircraft crashed into the north side of the Empire State Building, between the 78th and 80th floors, carving an 5.5 m × 6.1 m hole in the building where the offices of the National Catholic Welfare Council were located. One engine shot through the South side opposite the impact and flew as far as the next block, dropping 270 m and landing on the roof of a nearby building and starting a fire that destroyed a penthouse art studio. The other engine and part of the landing gear plummeted down an elevator shaft. The resulting fire was extinguished in 40 minutes. It is still the only significant fire at such a height to be brought under control.


Despite the damage and loss of life, the building was open for business on many floors on the following Monday.




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