Wednesday, October 11, 2006
When tragedy strikes near home
It's always an odd sensation to be reporting on a tragedy like this in your own city. We've all seen accident scenes before, either up close or on TV. There's a pattern to them, a routine, but it's always a shock to see one up close.

I think that's why so many people stand around and stare, watching police and firefighters do the jobs they've trained for.

We saw the smoke from our offices, and I jumped in a cab as soon as I could. CNN already had reporters and producers on the scene, and they had found eyewitnesses willing to talk to us on camera.

It's raining hard right now and that's driven away most of the curious onlookers.

CNN reports two people dead, including Cory Lidle, who owned the crashed plane. Lidle had a wife and a 6-year-old son. Tonight, let's all say a prayer for them and anyone else affected by this accident.
Posted By Anderson Cooper: 7:12 PM ET
What a horrible tragedy. It just reminds you how fragile life one minute, gone the next.
Posted By Anonymous Valerie, Montreal, QC : 7:28 PM ET
Hi Anderson,

THe word of mouth spreads very fast:
A restaurant business owner at the Upper West Area (close to ABC) ran out and announced that a plane had crashed at the upper east side. There were helicopters flying above our heads. I asked around what had happened, did the terrorist attack? I frantically walked into the Rockefeller Center's Barnes and Nobles and asked around. People were clueless. I went in the ladies room and a lady responded: if it were a terrorist attack, the subways would have closed down already.
Finally I realised that I could call someone who worked at ABC and she told me that it's a small plane crashed into the building and no it is not a terrorist attack.
Funny: Afterwards, I kept silent as everybody else around me remained clueless, about something that had just happened right here on the island. They will learn about it on the news.
Posted By Anonymous Ratna, New York, NY : 7:32 PM ET
My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of this horrible tragedy.
Posted By Anonymous Loretta, Tampa, Florida : 7:32 PM ET
Yes, my family and I will be praying for Cory Lidle's family as well as the other victim of this tragic accident.

Thank you for your immediate coverage.
Posted By Anonymous Jennifer, Buffalo, NY : 7:33 PM ET
Yes Anderson, let's say a prayer for them and their families and anyone else affected, but let's also look into why and how this could have happened. I don't think I'm the only one that thought since 9/11 it would be literally impossible for any plane to crash into any building. Something about this picture is just not right. There needs to be a LOT of investigating after this one.
Posted By Anonymous Bev Ontario Canada : 7:34 PM ET
I always feel a sense of loss whenever I hear of anyone dying so young and leaving behind a spouse and child. I find comfort in knowing that Cory was able to do two of the things he loved, flying and pitching. May we all remember how precious life is and to do the things that are important. I join Anderson in saying a prayer for the Lidle family and friends.
Posted By Anonymous Anna Wong, Palo Alto, CA : 7:35 PM ET
You sometimes have to wonder if high rise buildings are such a good thing these days...I'm amazed that more people weren't injured! I can't get to a TV right now so thanks for blogging an update!
Posted By Anonymous Jolene, St. Joseph, MI : 7:36 PM ET
Hi Anderson~
What a frightening event. I hope and pray that others were not hurt. My heartfelt sympathy and prayers go out to Cory Lidle's wife and son. So very sad. As usual Anderson, I trust you will keep us updated on the latest developments. Thanks for all you do.
Posted By Anonymous Betty Ann, Nacogdoches TX : 7:41 PM ET
CNN has done a great jib covering this. Your reporters are from varied backgrounds and it gives us different perspectives on the whole tragedy. One thing I can say about CNN you guys do not push your way into people's lives to get interviews, but CNN is respected so much that people come to all of you to talk.

Miles O'Brien's aviation expertise was fantastic it gave us just the background we needed on the aircraft and pilots. Anderson, thye fact you have lived in NYC all your life gave us a perspective on what the area is like and how that part of the city was effected. And Wolfe's guests - the former NTSB people gave us background from that perspective.

CNN may not have the ratings other networks have, but when you consider the people they have on staff they ARE #1. Keep up the great work all, we'll be waiting for the reports tonight.
Posted By Anonymous Marcia, Warren Mi : 7:42 PM ET

You interviewed a woman identified on camera as "Carol Higgins Clark" about the plane crash today. I wonder how many women in NY have that name. Can you find out if you interviewed the author daughter of author Mary Higgins Clark?
Posted By Anonymous Judy Mckinleyville CA : 7:43 PM ET
While it is a tragedy two lives were lost, at least the building they hit wasn't filled with school children or another large gathering of people. I, like probably most Americans, breathed a sigh of relief when it was discovered it wasn't a terrorism attack.
Posted By Anonymous Mel, Tupelo, MS : 7:43 PM ET
I stayed in a condo at the Belaire in December during my mother's surgery. This is truly shocking.

I can't believe the New York Yankees have lost yet another player in a plane crash. Cory Lidle had just pitched in relief for the Yankees in the playoff game with Detroit. What a terrible shame.

As a Yankee fan, I'm reminded of the great loss of Thurmon Munson in 1979. I remember that day like it was yesterday.

My heart goes out to Cory Lidle's family as well as the NY Yankee organization.
Posted By Anonymous Annette LaCanna Alpha, NJ : 7:50 PM ET
Truly sad. I feel so badly for his family and will pray for their strength during this terrible time.
Posted By Anonymous Katherine, Woodland Hills CA : 7:50 PM ET
I felt sick to my stomach earlier because the first thing you think is, 'oh no, not again'. Thankfully it wasn't anything like that.

An incident like this reminds us of how jumpy we still are, and probably will always be post 9-11. My thoughts and prayers go out to his wife and child.
Posted By Anonymous Lily, Vancouver, BC : 7:50 PM ET
It is very chilling to hear reports of a plane crashing into a building, particularly in New York City after 9/11. I am sorry to hear of the death of Corey Lidle.
Posted By Anonymous Fay, Vacaville, CA : 7:55 PM ET
Hi Anderson,
We all watched this unfold, praying it wasn't terrorism, and in the end it was just as bad as it could be..Two people lost their lives in an accident..Two people who will be missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families who have to grasp not only this tragedy but seeing it unfold on live TV..A double tragedy..Take Care
Posted By Anonymous Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif. : 8:03 PM ET
Even in this terrible circumstance, thank goodness that there is still a "shock" in seeing such an event so close to home. In a world full of tragedy, at least it tells us that we have not become complacent, or much worse, jilted.

The shock makes us curious, the curiosity makes us understand the pain. Maybe this is what helps us take care of each other?

My sympathies go out to the families of those involved on this sad day, and my empathy to the a city that is reminded, in one accidental jolt, that life is short.
Posted By Anonymous Lynn, Chicago, IL : 8:07 PM ET
We will pray for the family What a beartbreaking tragedy.CJ
Posted By Anonymous james family-Conway,SC : 8:08 PM ET
This is just so horrific. It happened today: 10/11. I never liked small aircrafts, because they're too fragile to handle flights. When I came home from school this afternoon, I turned on the T.V. and couldn't believe what I saw on CNN. Watching the news, I've seen John Denver, Aaliyah, John F. Kennedy Jr., Peter Tomarken and now Cory Lidle get killed from a small aircraft plane crash. That's only celebrities I remember seeing on the news. There were many more before my time. I live near White Plains and couldn't believe Lidle's plane was heading towards Westchester Airport. Earlier this week, as a Met fan, I've sympathized Yankees fans for losing the playoffs. Together, we now sympathize the losses of all who were affected and say our deepest prayers.
Posted By Anonymous Jessica, Somers, NY : 8:22 PM ET
I can't believe this has happened. I'm still in shock. My heart goes out to his family. They'll be asking questions for a while. Like why, how this happened. I'll be praying for them. I'll tune in to the show tonight.
Posted By Anonymous Beth, Edmonds, WA : 8:26 PM ET
It's really sad and effects so many people. Cory used to be an Oakland A, and they are dedicating tonight's playoff game to him. His former Oakland A's teammate Eric Burns sounds very heartbroken. And then there's the Mets who also have a playoff game tonight and many of Cory's teammates are on both sides of the field. A very sad day, glad you were able to race over and cover this story.
Posted By Anonymous kelly, san francisco : 8:29 PM ET
It just boggles the mind that people would immediately start making comments such as - aren't there rules and regulations regarding flying around those buildings?, or how can a small plane be allowed to fly in that airspace. Well, I would have to think that if the airplane has some sort of mechanical trouble and manoeuvering the plane was that difficult that HE FLEW INTO A BUILDING, NOT ON PURPOSE. The rules and restrictions would be utterly useless.

It was an ACCIDENT!

Besides it was selfish of him to risk his life flying a small plane when he had a wife and child to think about.
Posted By Anonymous Em, Toronto, Ontario, Canada : 8:35 PM ET

Lifting a prayer for others in the midst of tragedy and loss may seem trite to some however what more can we as distant onlookers offer at such a time. Twelve years ago I experienced the sudden accidental death of my husband and I was left with two young sons. In retrospect I have discovered that it was only because of the prayers of others that our family made it through that tragic time. When we can't even find the words or strength to pray ourselves God places others in our lives to pray for us.
Thank you Anderson for reminding us to take a moment to lift this young mother and her child in prayer. When we can do nothing else we can always pray.....
Posted By Anonymous Zann Vickers Easterwood Martin, TN : 8:39 PM ET
Just hearing that a plane had crashed into a building in New York city automatically scares people. Hearing more and more of the story as it was developing, I was pleased to hear it wasn't a terror attack but still setback because it was Yankee's pitcher Cory Lidle. It's hard to understand why and how incidents like this occur. He was just pitching for the Yankees on Saturday and now his plane crashed. Lidle and his family are in my prayers.
Posted By Anonymous Liz Y Toledo, OH : 8:44 PM ET
Hey Anderson,

I got home from work and turned on CNN to catch up with the news while making dinner. Imagine my dismay and fear when I heard about a plane crashing into a building in NYC. I can only imagine how it must have felt for those in the city who experienced it first hand. Thanks for the great reporting.
Posted By Anonymous Courtney, St. Charles, MO : 8:49 PM ET
My father died in a plane crash when I was the age of Cory Lidel's son. Even 23 years later, I still remember the knock on the door when the authorities came to notify my mother. The world, as I knew it, changed that day. My heart and prayers are with the family. I am saddened by their loss.
Posted By Anonymous Mary, Salt Lake City, Utah : 8:54 PM ET
People say that life is so precious and death unpredictable. You try to enjoy life, be as healthy as you can and also be a good person. Then, you go in a routine and start complaining again until a tragic event comes into your life to remind you how lucky you are to be on this earth. Are we??
Posted By Anonymous Johanne, Ottawa, Ontario : 9:03 PM ET
I saw the breaking news on CNN, and my heart just went dead. I know it's not 9/11 all over again, but that's all I could think about. I'm still in shock. But what I feel right now is this deadening weight that I felt way back in 2001. I've never been to New York, and I'm not an American citizen. But this tragedy ahs hit home really hard. My heart felt condolences to the families involved in this incident.
Posted By Anonymous Kat, Vancouver, Canada : 9:04 PM ET
Hey Anderson - my prayers are with Cory Lidle's family as well as everyone else affected. How frightening it must have been for all those people living in that building, not to mention all of New York. For many people I'm sure it brought back the sights, sounds, fears, and emotions of 9/11.

It is so sad for his wife and son. Having just spent 4 days with my nephew's little 17 month old daughter, I am all too aware of how dependent children are on their parents. They need to know every minute that their moms and dads are close by. This little boy will miss his Daddy for the rest of his life and through those most important, growing up years.

Sometimes I wonder why bad things have to happen. It's sad beyond words.
Posted By Anonymous Christina, Windber PA : 9:11 PM ET
May god bless his entire family in this time of need, rest assure that he is looking and watching over all of them. Im sorry for the loss an those who died in this tragedy !
Posted By Anonymous Bower family, Coal Township, PA : 9:18 PM ET

I saw the coverage of the plane crash, and like many others, I'm sure, was deeply affected by it. It's always horrible, and inexplicable, when something like this happens.

Tonight, before I sleep, I'll be sending my prayers and good wishes to all who were affected by this tragedy, Thank you for being there, and covering this story.
Posted By Anonymous Mandy, Boston MA : 9:18 PM ET
I just want to say that it's very refreshing that your post ended with a request for a prayer.
Posted By Anonymous Connie,E. Stroudsburg PA : 9:20 PM ET
I will say a prayer for Cory Lidle's family, but I will also pray for the people who live in New York who had their worst nightmare relived today. I don't know how you do it Anderson and still stay sane. I will say a prayer for you too.
Posted By Anonymous Jennifer Steinhofer Lexington Ky : 9:21 PM ET
What a tragic situation. Certainly our prayers go out to those affected. It still amazes me that the minute I heard a plane hit a building in NY, my very next thought is terrorism. I can't stand that.
Posted By Anonymous Cheryl Johnston Rhode Island : 9:34 PM ET
I have to admit, my heart skipped a beat when I first saw the headline earlier the time, I had a fleeting thought - is this another terrorist attack? Thankfully, it wasn't, but unfortunately a husband and father was lost today along with his flight instructor. Life is it to the fullest and make sure those closest to you know how much you love them.
Posted By Anonymous Kim, Greensboro, NC : 9:37 PM ET
As a Yankee fan, my heart breaks for Cory's family, friends and teammates. Unbelieveably sad.

I agree Anderson, that all of us need to pray for those touched by this tragedy. From a distance, it is all we can do.

Friends at work who are aware that I follow your program, joked that you had run out of Time Warner to cover this story. I advised them that it was no joke, I was certain you had done just that.

Thank you for your heartfelt reporting of important issues, whether in far off countries, or here at home. We can always count on you.

Keep up the good work and God Bless.
Posted By Anonymous Patricia McMillan, Camp Hill, PA : 9:47 PM ET
Thinking it must be a kind of attack when we meet with an accident is very sad.
It seems there is no peaceful place in the world.
Posted By Anonymous Yukako,Japan : 10:01 PM ET
Amen, AC. How sad for their families and how scary for New Yorkers. It was my turn to pick up dinner for our staff meeting and I caught the story on the restaurant TV. I think we all still stand still for a moment when we hear a story abour an airplane crash. Thanks for braving the rain. I will be sure to include these men and their families in prayer.
Posted By Anonymous Kathy Chicago,Il : 10:17 PM ET
Dear Anderson,

I was watching "The Situation Room" when I heard you call in your observations and later watched you interview the eyewitnesses to this horrible tragedy. When I heard the details of what had happened, and realized that this had occurred one month after the anniversary of 9/11, I, like everyone else, thought the worst. Fortunately, it was not a terrorist attack. Sadly, however, it was a tragedy for the families of Cory Lidle and his passenger. My thoughts and prayers are with them tonight.

Rich or poor, powerful or powerless, ugly or beautiful, we all must face the same inevitable end. No one knows when his or her time will come. For Mr. Lidle and his passenger it was today doing something they felt passionately about.

Jo Ann
Posted By Anonymous Jo Ann Matese, North Royalton, Ohio : 10:21 PM ET
While I Understand the need to talk much of Cory Lidle's tragic death, your decision to show him in his own piloting video seems quite ghoulish. Too bad you couldn't find out the name of the flight instructor to put up beside Lidle's, you only had what, 7 or so hours? I will say prayers for both their families.
Posted By Anonymous Robin Williams, West Gardiner, Maine : 10:25 PM ET
Dear Anderson, In the aftermath of Sept,11th , the sudden grafic image of a plane hitting a building evokes an innate response of fear , I thought Oh God another terrorist attack, On one hand how terribly sad for a wife and son on the other hand thank god that not another 3,000 poeple lost there lives. Maritza Munoz
Posted By Anonymous Maritza Munoz San Jose, Ca : 10:28 PM ET
I saw your reporting from the street this afternoon and it brought back the memories of 9-11. Watching the people surrounding you with curiosity and some disbelief while you are telling the story. It's always fascinating to me as to how human nature responds to a human tragedy. May God rest their souls and God give strength to their families to mourn this in the face of the ever curious public eye.

As I watch 360 now, I want to say thanks to you for covering this story with your usual sharp reporting skills by telling the story from many different sides.
Posted By Anonymous SP, Cincinnati, OH : 10:31 PM ET
This certainly is a terrible tragedy and my thoughts and prayers are with Lidle's family as well as the New York Yankees.
Posted By Anonymous Jon Drury, Phoenix, AZ : 1:46 PM ET
I am a 38 years old mother of 4 children ( 20,16, & twin 12 year olds) my husband of 18 years passed away a year ago at age 40 from a long battle with pancreatic cancer. No one is ever prepared for death. I know in my heart that the love, prayers and support the victims families will receive from friends & strangers will give them tremendous strength to deal with this tragic lose. I am firm believer that everything happens for a reason, it is up to us as human beings to help others get through adversity.I know my prayers are with them!
Posted By Anonymous Debbie Hinton,Mckinney,TX. : 4:25 PM ET
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