Oct 102006
Authors: By Colleen Long THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEW YORK – New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle was presumed killed along with a second person Wednesday when his small plane crashed into a 50-story skyscraper, authorities said.

A law enforcement official in Washington, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Lidle – an avid pilot who got his flying license after last year’s offseason – was aboard the single-engine aircraft when it slammed into the 20th floor of the high-rise on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. And Mayor Michael Bloomberg said both people aboard were killed.

Flames could be seen shooting from windows on two upper floors of The Belaire, a 50-story tower on East 72nd Street, close to the East River. Burning debris fell on the streets below as firefighters shot water streams of water at the flames from lower floors.

Fire Department spokeswoman Emily Rahimi said the aircraft struck struck the 20th floor.

The tower was built in the late 1980s and is situated near Sotheby’s Auction House. It has 183 apartments, many of which sell for more than $1 million.

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