Small plane makes emergency landing on New York highway

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Originally published on January 5, 2014

A small plane made an emergency landing on a New York City interstate highway on Saturday. No one was seriously injured.

The aircraft, a Piper PA-28, departed from Danbury Municipal Airport, Connecticut on Saturday. Carrying three people, including the male pilot and two female passengers, the plane was on its return trip after taking a tour of the Statue of Liberty.

The trip was disrupted after the pilot detected some problems with the engines. The New York Daily News reported air traffic controllers tried to divert the plane to LaGuardia Airport but lost contact.

Workers from New York City Department of Transportation noticed the approaching plane at around 3:00pm while fixing potholes on the highway. They stopped traffic, clearing space for the aircraft to land. Bert Troche, one of the maintenance workers, told the New York Times that they used two trucks to shield themselves while making space for the single-engine plane.

All three passengers only suffered minor injuries. They were sent to St. Barnabas Hospital and later released.

Besides broken wheels, the aircraft was unscathed. No vehicles were damaged during the landing, but it caused major delays into the evening.

"We have...extraordinary situation and actually a bit of a miracle, thank God, that happened today in our city," said Mayor Bill de Blasio. "I thought I'd seen everything in my life."

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