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Rising steam and smoke: This week's I-Report highlights

  • Story Highlights
  • The best of the week's I-Reports, including New York's steam explosion
  • Photos also show jet crash, fires, flooding and a creepy catfish
  • Harry Potter photos and video still coming in
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(CNN) -- For eyewitnessing I-Reporters, this was a big week. Photos and video of fires, flooding, a jet crash and a steam explosion in the heart of Manhattan put a human face on the headlines.


Terry DeSouza happened to be at an airport in Sao Paulo, Brazil, when he heard there had been a crash.

Randi Silberman was working in her New York office near the site of the burst steam pipe when her coworkers pointed out what was going on. They suggested she come quickly to the window and snap some pictures.

She became one of many new I-Reporters that evening when she pulled out her camera, captured a striking image of steam against the city skyline and sent in the file.

Noam Galai is another citizen journalist who sent images to CNN that evening. He tagged along with law enforcement after the incident and was able to photograph a damaged school bus in the heart of the blast zone, as well as high-heeled shoes strewn about the streets.

Another news event captured by I-Reporters was a TAM jet crashing into Congonhas airport in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Terry DeSouza of Van Nuys, California, happened to be taking a friend to the airport when he heard people screaming that there had been a crash.

He decided to rush outside and see what was going on and saw the crash site about 100 feet away. The jet appeared to have gone into a gas station, he said. With his cell phone in hand, he took what pictures he could get of the scene.

"The only part of the plane we could see was the tail, the rest of the plane was all the way in the gas station," DeSouza said.

These I-Reporters weren't the only ones who found themselves getting a front-seat view of the news. Michael Banks has a great taxi-cab horror story to tell after his car got stuck in floodwater on the way to the airport in New York. He had to wade in 2 feet of water to get out.

Plus, a chemical explosion sent smoke flying into the air about 1,000 feet from Glen Sharp's home in Valley Center, Kansas.

"I was awakened by the explosion, and ran outside to shoot the attached photo," Sharp wrote. "It was just your standard Bruce Willis scenario."

Of course, not every I-Report we receive is serious in nature. We're continuing to receive Harry Potter I-Reports and we hope to get even more (especially video reviews) as the seventh and final book in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, is released.

Ken Johnston Sr. sent us a video review of the fifth Harry Potter film while dressed in a full Dumbledore costume. He wore this costume through the entire movie without even taking off his mask, thanks to liberal helpings of spirit gum.

We're also hearing amusing tales of your animal troubles. Jennifer Lindner of suburban Tampa, Florida, said she is repulsed by the walking catfish that come out of the swamplands near her home when it rains.


The former New Yorker sent photos of several such fish and noted that she is making even more new friends from the animal kingdom, such as flying cockroaches, alligators, lizards and a 9-pound rat in her attic. She says many of the "gross and freaky creatures" in her area go back and forth between a river and swamp near her home.

"At least the cockroaches in New York didn't fly," she said. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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