TIME Wisconsin

Milwaukee Plane Crash Kills At Least 1

The pilot had asked to abort a landing just before the crash

At least one person is dead after a singe-engine passenger plane crashed in Milwaukee’s Lawrence J. Timmerman Airport on Wednesday, according to local news reports.

The plane burst into a fiery blaze after crashing onto the field.

The County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed at least one person is dead, reports WITI.

The plane, registered to Trustey Management Corp. in Boston, had radioed in for a “go-around,” or a request to abort landing, just before catching fire. The aircraft was manufactured in 2009.

Details on how many passengers were onboard or the cause of fire remain unknown.

 

 

TIME Aviation

When an Army Plane Crashed Into the Empire State Building

Crashed Bomber
Keystone / Getty Images Part of a US B-25 bomber which crashed into the Empire State Building in New York City in 1945

July 28, 1945: A U.S. Army bomber crashes into the New York City skyscraper in thick fog, killing 14 people

On this day, July 28, 1945, Lt. Col. William Franklin Smith Jr. flew a B-25 bomber into the 78th floor of the Empire State Building, which was then the tallest building in the world.

It was just before 10:00 on a Saturday morning at the tail end of World War II, and Smith was flying a routine transport mission—giving a handful of servicemen a ride home, according to NPR. He himself was a decorated pilot, fresh from logging 1,000 combat hours in the war, per TIME. He’d earned the Air Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Croix de Guerre as a member of the 457th Bomb Group, where he “hammered at targets in central Germany,” per his obituary in the West Point alumni magazine.

“When Bill entered the Academy in July of 1938 he stood on the threshold of a brief but brilliant career as a soldier. To look back on that career we wonder if he knew that his time was short,” his obit concludes. “He wanted to do everything in a military manner, but fast and well.”

That sense of urgency may explain why, 70 years ago today, the 27-year-old pilot ignored an air traffic controller’s warning of low visibility en route from LaGuardia to Newark.

“We’re unable to see the top of the Empire State Building,” the controller told him, according to TIME’s 1945 report. Smith flew anyway.

In the dense fog, he maneuvered through Manhattan at about 225 m.p.h., narrowly missing a skyscraper on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street before he pulled up and banked slightly left—and collided head-on with the Empire State Building.

“The bomber gored through the thick steel and stone of the building as if they were papier-mâché,” TIME reported. “Then, in a flash of flame, the gasoline tanks exploded. In another instant flames leaped and seeped inside & outside the building.”

Smith and his two passengers were killed instantly; 11 people in the building also died. Most of the victims, per TIME, were “women employed by the National Catholic Welfare Conference, which has offices on the 79th floor. Many were burned beyond recognition.”

Some survived against the odds—including a 19-year-old elevator operator who broke her pelvis, back and neck when the plane sliced through the elevator’s cables and she plummeted from the 79th floor to the subbasement, per NPR.

Decades later, it’s hard not to read about this history without thinking of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001—but the skyscraper and the plane weren’t the only components these two events shared. The disaster also prompted adrenaline-fueled acts of heroism reminiscent, on a smaller scale, of those that prevailed after 9/11. To free the badly-injured young woman from the basement elevator, first responders battered a hole through the wreckage. One courageous volunteer tunneled through it to reach her. Per TIME:

Donald Malony, 17, a Coast Guard hospital apprentice, squeezed through it, brought her out, gave her morphine. Passing the building at the moment of the crash, he had run into a drug store, talked a clerk into giving him hypodermic needles, drugs, other supplies. He gave first aid to many.

Read more from 1945: New York: In the Clouds

TIME China

A Mother in China Fell to Her Death Inside an Escalator but Somehow Saved Her Toddler

A metal panel gave way as she stepped across it

A woman in China was crushed to death on Saturday after falling through a panel of flooring at the top of an escalator in a department store in Hubei province.

Xian Liujuan, 30, was carrying her young son at the time but managed to push him out of harms way as she fell, reports Agence France-Presse.

CCTV footage posted to YouTube on Sunday appears to show Xian stepping off the escalator onto a metal panel, which gives way. As she falls, Xian pushes her child away from her and a shop assistant drags him to safety.

The assistant then grabs hold of Xian’s hand but the escalator keeps rolling and she disappears into the mechanism.

According to local paper the Wuhan Evening News, maintenance work had been carried out on the escalator at the Anliang shopping mall in Jingzhou and workers had allegedly forgotten to screw the access cover into place.

Xian’s body was recovered four hours later by a team of firefighters.

The video, which contains graphic scenes that some viewers may find upsetting, can be seen here.

[AFP]

Listen to the most important stories of the day

TIME Florida

NFL Great Joe Namath Joining Search For 2 Missing Florida Teens

Missing Teen Fishermen
AP This combination made from photos provided by the U.S. Coast Guard shows Perry Cohen, left, and Austin Stephanos, both 14 years old.

The boys headed off for a fishing trip on Friday. They have not been heard from since

Former NFL great Joe Namath is appealing to the public for help in finding two 14-year-old boys, who have been missing at sea since Friday.

“We’re all praying,” Namath, flanked by the boys’ families, said at a press conference on Sunday in Tequesta, Fla., according to Fox News. “We got a lot of people out on the water and in the air looking for them. We’ll stay out there until we find them.”

The boys, Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen, embarked on a fishing trip in a 19-foot boat in the Atlantic Ocean on Friday. They were last seen buying fuel on Friday afternoon near Jupiter, Fla.

Perry is the son of Namath’s neighbor.

The boys’ families are offering a $100,000 reward for their safe return.

 

TIME Crime

U.S. Police Killed Someone in Mental or Emotional Crisis Every 36 Hours This Year, Report Says

fst085041
Getty Images

In most cases, police were called not because of a crime but by a concerned bystander or loved one

Reporting released by the Washington Post on June 30 depicts an apparently stark reality when it comes to confrontations between police and people with mental illness in the U.S. The article draws from the newspaper’s tracking of every fatal police shooting in the country in the first six moths of 2015 — 462 in all — to present an in-depth look at those confrontations involving disturbed or distressed individuals.

During that time, police killed someone in mental or emotional crisis every 36 hours, including three men within 10 hours on April 25, the Post reports.

In most of those cases, the paper says, officers were not called to the scene because of reports of a crime but were rather responding to concerned bystanders or loved ones. Out of the 124 shootings examined in the report, 50 involved explicitly suicidal individuals. In 45 cases, police were explicitly asked for medical assistance or called after the individual had attempted to get medical assistance elsewhere. Nearly a dozen of those killed were veterans, and several suffered from PTSD.

Many of the responsible police agencies do not train their officers adequately to deal with distressed people, the article concludes. According to the Police Executive Research Forum, officers in training spend up to 60 hours learning to handle a gun and only eight hours each learning to neutralize taut situations and interact with mentally ill individuals. In fact, many of the tactics learned in training, such as shouting commands, can worsen the situation for already fragile people.

“This a national crisis,” Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, told the Post. “We have to get American police to rethink how they handle encounters with the mentally ill. Training has to change.”

Read more at the Washington Post

TIME tragedy

Mourners Pay Respects to Clementa Pinckney at South Carolina Statehouse

Clementa Pinckney Wake State House
Win McNamee—Getty Images Visitors pay their respects during an open viewing for Rev. Clementa Pinckney at the South Carolina State House in Columbia, S.C. on June 24, 2015.

A week after he and eight others were killed in a church shooting in Charleston

Hundreds of mourners lined up to view the Rev. Clementa Pinckney’s open casket on Wednesday, under the dome of the South Carolina statehouse, a week after he and eight others were fatally shot at a historic black church in Charleston, S.C.

A horse-drawn carriage and nine state troopers delivered the casket to the statehouse floor, where mourners could file through to pay their respects, the Post and Courier reports. Those who attended were greeted by colleagues of Pinckney, who was the lead pastor of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and a state senator, as well as his widow and two young daughters.

Pinckney is the first African American to lie in state under the statehouse dome since at least the Reconstruction era, according to the Associated Press. Though a Confederate flag still flies in front of the complex, a black drape had been placed over a second-floor window to prevent mourners from seeing it.

TIME South Carolina

What Unity Looks Like in Charleston

The city of Charleston has put aside anger and resentment after the horrific shooting at a black church last week, instead responding with incredible public displays of emotion, compassion, love, and unity

TIME tragedy

Charleston Shooting Victim’s Son Says Love Is Stronger Than Hate

Chris Singleton says he can forgive his mother's killer

The teenage son of Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, one of the nine people killed in a shooting at a historically black church in Charleston, S.C. Wednesday night, spoke Thursday about the loss of his mother.

Chris Singleton, a student at Charleston Southern University and an outfielder for the school’s baseball team, spoke to reporters from the team’s baseball diamond Thursday night. He called his mother a “God-fearing woman” who loved everyone. Coleman-Singleton was a minister at Emanuel AME Church, the church that was attacked, as well as a speech pathologist and a track coach at a local high school.

“Love is always stronger than hate,” Chris Singleton said. “If we just love the way my Mom would, the hate won’t be anywhere close to what love is.”

Singleton also told NBC affiliate WCBD that he would forgive Dylann Roof, the killer of the nine churchgoers.

TIME Crime

Former Classmate Describes Charleston Shooting Suspect as ‘Different’ With a ‘Wild Side’

"It never, never crossed my mind that he would go out and murder all those people like that"

John Mullins, a former classmate of alleged Charleston shooter Dylann Roof, told CNN Thursday that Roof was “different” to his peers, both quiet and with “kind of a wild side to him, too, where there’s that sort of carelessness about things.”

However, he added, “It never, never crossed my mind that he would go out and murder all those people like that.”

Mullins also told CNN that he and Roof shared mutual black friends with whom Roof sometimes would “sh-t talk,” cracking jokes back and forth. “He would make kind of racist slurs as jokes, but they were never taken seriously in any form or manner,” Mullins said.

However, photos of Roof wearing a jacket decorated with patches associated with white supremacists surfaced quickly after he was taken into custody Thursday. And a survivor of Wednesday’s massacre has reported that Roof said, “You rape our women and you’re taking over our country and you have to go” when one of the young men he allegedly killed was begging for his life.

[CNN]

TIME Crime

How a Local Florist Helped to Catch Charleston Shooting Suspect Dylann Roof

Charleston Shooting
Gabe Whisnant—AP Todd Frady, left, and Debbie Dills of Frady's Florist in Kings Mountain, N.C., pose for a photo after Dills called in the tip that ultimately led to the arrest of Dylann Storm Roof, on June 18, 2015

Debbie Dills said something about Roof's car "didn't look right to me"

After a tragic night and a tense 14-hour search, alleged Charleston shooter Dylann Roof was taken into custody Thursday in Shelby, N.C., nearly 250 miles away from the city where police say he killed nine people during a prayer meeting.

But the 21-year-old was only apprehended thanks to a tip from local florist Debbie Dills, who spotted a car matching the description released by police as she drove to work on Thursday, CNN reports.

“I saw the pictures of him with the bowl cut,” Dills told the Shelby Star. “I said, ‘I’ve seen that car for some reason.’ I look over, and it’s got a South Carolina tag on it.”

She told the paper she was convinced the car was just a lookalike until she saw the driver’s haircut. That was when she called her boss, Todd Frady, for support. He contacted the local police and remained on the phone with Dills as she trailed the car, hoping to confirm the license plate was a match. Once she had verified the plate number at a stoplight, the police arrived within minutes.

Dills is the minister of music at the West Cramerton Baptist Church and told the Star she had been praying for the victims in Charleston. “Those people were in their church just trying to learn the word of God,” she said.

She gave credit to a higher power for her role in the arrest. “It was God that made this happen,” she told CNN. “It don’t have nothing to do with Debbie. It don’t have nothing to do with Todd. It was all about Him. He made this happen. He answered the prayers of those people that were praying in Charleston last night, that were in those circles praying. God heard the prayers of the people and he just used us as vessels to get his work done.”

[CNN]

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