Deadly nightclub shooting, search continues for 3 in LA plane crash, investigating NY crane collapse

TAMPA (AP) Deadly nightclub shooting leaves one dead and 7 injured.  Police said the 911 call about gunshots at the club came in around 2:00 A.M. Saturday morning. Police say an argument may have prompted the shooting.

 

LOS ANGELES (AP) — One small plane with two men aboard and another plane with one woman aboard have collided over the ocean near the Port of Los Angeles, setting off a major search that has yet to turn up any survivors or dead, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

The collision occurred about 3:30 p.m. Friday on a dazzlingly sunny day, with no immediate word on what might have caused it.

Men ages 61 and 81 were believed to be aboard one plane, a Beechcraft. Wreckage and a pilot's logbook have been found from that plane, Coast Guard Capt. Jennifer Williams said.

The other plane, a Super Decathlon flown by a 72-year-old woman, is missing, and air traffic controllers saw two aircraft apparently run into each other on radar, leading authorities to conclude they must have collided.

Both planes had taken off from the nearby Torrance Airport, and both pilots were experienced, Williams said. All three people live in the nearby South Bay area. No names have been released.

The search for wreckage and possible survivors over a 200-square-mile area is expected to continue through the night with helicopters and boats, with a more extensive search resuming Saturday.

"We don't want to give up until we really feel that there's no chance," Williams said, "that we haven't scanned the area, searched the whole area and looked for survivors."

The area of the collision is about two miles outside the entrance to the harbor, where water depths were 80 feet to 90 feet.

The nearest harbor entrance was closed to traffic while the search continued.

The crash site was near the Angels Gate light, a lighthouse at the San Pedro Breakwater that is on the National Register of Historic Places. The area is popular for flight students.

Richard Garnett, chief flight instructor with the Long Beach Flying Club, said the pilots practice in an area that is 10 to 20 square miles and at altitudes ranging from 1,000 to 4,000 feet. On a typical day, there will be three or four planes in the air at the same time.

"So with the amount of activity, actually, I think we've been fortunate," he said. "We are really diligent. I don't know why, what happened in this situation."

Friday's midair collision was not the first in the area.

In 2001, four people died when two Cessna airplanes carrying instructors and students collided 1,000 feet above the harbor. In 1986, two small planes flown by students collided. But the aircraft managed to return to their airports, and the four people on board escaped injury.

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Associated Press writers Christine Armario, Robert Jablon and Andrew Dalton contributed to this report.

NEW YORK (AP) — Officials are working to determine why a huge construction crane that was being lowered during strong winds came crashing down onto a street, killing a pedestrian and crushing a row of parked cars. Three other people were hurt by debris, two of them seriously.

But city officials said it could have been much worse.

"The fact is this is a very, very sad incident," Mayor Bill de Blasio said. "We've lost a life, but if you go out there on the street as I did and see what happened here, thank God it was not worse."

The mayor said a construction crew was directing people away from the area as the crane was being lowered Friday.

"So that crew - those construction workers, who, in the normal course of their work, as they were lowering the crane, were in fact keeping people away from the site and keeping traffic from proceeding down West Broadway," de Blasio said.

The mobile crane's boom landed across an intersection, smashed several car roofs and stretched much of a block after the accident at a historic building in lower Manhattan about 10 blocks north of the World Trade Center.

Robert Harold heard a crashing sound as the rig fell right outside his office window at the Legal Aid Society.

"You could feel the vibration in the building," said Harold, who recounted seeing onlookers trying to rescue someone trapped in a parked car and seeing a person lying motionless on the street. After the collapse, the crane's big cab lay upside-down in the snow with its tank-like tracks pointed at the sky.

Wall Street worker David Wichs was killed in the collapse. He was a mathematical whiz who worked at a computerized trading firm, his family said. Born in Prague, he had immigrated to the United States as a teenager and graduated from Harvard University, said his sister-in-law, Lisa Guttman.

"He really created a life for himself. He literally took every opportunity he could find," she said through tears.

A bystander's video taken through a window high above the ground showed the arm descending and then taking the entire crane to the ground.

Officials have not yet determined why the crane fell.

An employee who answered the phone at the offices of crane owner Bay Crane would say only that an investigation was underway and wouldn't give his name.

City building inspectors had been at the site Thursday because the boom was being extended so it could reach farther onto the roof, de Blasio said.

Buildings Commissioner Rick Chandler said inspectors found no problems then with the crane but would investigate further.

A spokesman for the building's owners said in a statement that they were "saddened by the injuries and loss of a life."

Crane safety came under scrutiny in the city after two tower cranes collapsed in Manhattan within two months of each other in 2008, killing a total of nine people. The accidents fueled new safety measures, but a number of crane accidents have occurred in the city since then.

Officials said they would discuss the city's response and recovery actions at a news conference Saturday at the site of the collapse.

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Associated Press writers Kiley Armstrong, Jake Pearson, Jennifer Peltz and Ula Ilnytzky contributed to this report.

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