Sunday, August 9, 2009


New York - Nine people were killed today after a sightseeing helicopter carrying Italian tourists collided in mid-air with a small plane near New York and crashed into the Hudson river. Eyewitnesses saw a wing come off the plane during the collision just after noon US time and watched as the helicopter "fell like a stone" into the river. Five Italian tourists and the pilot were aboard the helicopter; in the plane, along with the pilot, there were two passengers, one of whom was a child. Another pilot on the ground at the heliport saw the plane approaching and tried to radio an alert to the helicopter above. But the warning was either not heard, or failed to get through in time.

The collision took place just south of the stretch of river where a US Airways jet that had run into trouble after apparently hitting a flock of geese was ditched in January by its pilot, who was hailed as a hero for saving the lives of all 150 people on board. Two bodies were recovered but there was no hope of finding survivors, said New York's mayor, Michael Bloomberg, who described the incident as "not survivable". He said that police had found one piece of wreckage in the murky waters of the Hudson and that the search would probably continue for a few days. "This has changed from a rescue to a recovery mission. There's not going to be a happy ending," he added.

The plane, which was a single-engine Piper PA-32R-300, had taken off earlier from Teterboro Airport in New Jersey and was flying south along the river when it appeared to lose control as it banked steeply and struck the helicopter close to the shore line of Hoboken, New Jersey. The helicopter, operated by Liberty Helicopter, the largest sightseeing and charter helicopter operator in the north-east US, had taken off moments earlier from West 30th Street in Manhattan. Hundreds of people on both sides of the mile-wide river watched as the two aircraft appeared to break apart, with the rotary blades detaching from the helicopter, opposite the west side of Manhattan.

Yoga means to inquire. What am I? If I am not this body, then what am I? I am pure soul. Now, if my bodily activities or sensual activities are incorrect, I will not be able to understand myself--what I am--and the Bhagavad-gita says that we are all grand fools. Why fools? Since we have this body, we are fools. If somebody invites you to come to his apartment but you know it is full of danger, do you think you would like to go there? "Oh no," you will say, "I am not going there. If it is full of danger, why shall I go?" Similarly, don't you think that the body is full of danger? Then, why are you going there, taking repeated birth? When you are flying in a plane, you are always fearful that there may be a crash. And what is this crashing? It is due to the body. The soul cannot be affected by crashes. But you are always afraid. The soul is ever-existing, and the body will not exist. And because you are existing and the soul has accepted the nonexisting body, therefore you suffer.

Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"The Krishna Consciousness: The Topmost Yoga Sistem - Chapter 4"

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