The New York Fire Department dispatched 44 fire trucks and 200 firefighters to the scene of the plane crash in Queens.
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Investigators suspect a catastrophic engine event as the likely cause of an airline crash Monday in New York that
likely claimed the lives of everyone on board, a Transportation Department official told CNN.
Investigators have not definitively ruled out terrorism in the crash American Airlines flight 587, but think some sort of engine failure caused the disaster, the official said.
Officials said the flight, which crashed in Rockaway, a Queens neighborhood, carried 260 people - 246 ticketed passengers, nine crewmembers and five unticketed infants sitting on their parents' lap. At least six to eight people in Rockaway also have been reported missing immediately following the crash, New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said.
By late Monday, searchers had recovered 265 "relatively intact bodies," police said.
The flight was an Airbus A300-600. The jet was propelled by General Electric engines that have been the subject of past National Transportation Safety Board recommendations. (More on Airbus)
Last December, the agency recommended that the Federal Aviation Administration require airlines with the same GE engines as those on flight 587 to review repairs made on cracked engine blades. That recommendation followed an incident in which an engine erupted and caught fire during maintenance on a U.S. Airways plane.
A year earlier, the NTSB recommended that airlines with Airbus A300s improve their engines' fire detection system. An engine on an American Airlines flight that caught fire on takeoff from Puerto Rico prompted that recommendation.
This June, the FAA issued an airworthiness directive, telling airlines to examine specific parts of the GE engine.
A GE spokesman told CNN the company complied with the directive, but could find nothing to change.
New York Gov. George Pataki said there were "inconclusive" reports the pilot dumped fuel into Jamaica Bay, an indication he may have known of a problem on board.
Officials said the Coast Guard had found no evidence of a fuel slick in the waters off John F. Kennedy Airport, which would indicate flight 587's pilot deliberately dumped fuel from the aircraft as it headed toward earth.
Just before the crash, the Airbus broke up in mid-air. A sizable portion of the vertical stabilizer from the tail section landed in Jamaica Bay, while most of the fuselage plunged into Rockaway. One engine landed at a gas station, while other engine pieces crushed a boat parked in the driveway of a home that caught fire.
Giuliani said the fuselage destroyed up to six houses and severely damaged another six.
Pataki said the main crash site suggested the plane dropped at a steep angle, if not vertically.
"It's clear that the plane did come down very much in a straight level, which was horrible for that particular site, but minimized what could have happened had the plane glided across the Rockaways," he said.
The cockpit voice recorder from American Airlines Flight 587 has been recovered and was flown to Washington for analysis, the National Transportation and Safety Board said.
Investigators are still searching for the flight data recorder that will give information about how the different systems, including the engines, were performing.
The plane was en route to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. American Airlines said the plane was carrying 251 passengers and nine crewmembers. (Timeline)
The plane had not been delayed by mechanical problems, said American Airlines Chairman Don Carty.
"It was delayed at the gate, as so many airplanes are since the (September) 11th, largely to ensure that the security arrangements were fulfilled," he said. "And they were."
Witnesses: Explosion and fireball
Moments after the plane took off, witnesses said they saw what appeared to be an explosion. Parts of the plane began breaking away and wreckage was found in at least four locations, Giuliani said.
"I was in my kitchen ...and I saw the plane hit the house behind my house," an eyewitness told CNN. "It was so low, I was ducking almost. Then (there were) huge fireballs, and I jumped out of the ... window of my house.
"It was like a bomb exploded." (Full story)
Monday's crash site in Rockaway was home to many New York city firefighters and police officers killed in the attack on the World Trade Center, which prompted an emotional response from the mayor. (Full story)
"Oh my God," said Giuliani, who had recently been in Rockaway to attend the funerals of 10 firefighters from the trade center tragedy.
"The consequences so far are catastrophic," Giuliani said. The fatalities, he said, likely would surpass the 230 killed in the July 1996 crash of TWA flight 800.
In Washington, President Bush said, "I too want to express my heartfelt sympathies for the citizens of New York, those on the airplane, those whose houses were damaged, and those who were hurt on the ground."
Earlier, White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said there had been no unusual communications with the cockpit. Asked if there were any indications of terrorism, Fleischer said "We have not ruled anything in; we have not ruled anything out."
• As part of the increased post-September 11 security environment, the Pentagon ordered additional combat air patrols over the United States and its coastlines after Flight 587 crashed.
• There is "no indication" of what caused Flight 587 to crash, American Airlines chairman and CEO said Monday. Donald Carty said the crash came at a "difficult time" for the airline and the nation -- two months after four jets, including two American Airlines planes, were hijacked and crashed by terrorists.
• Carty said the last maintenance "A-check" on the plane was performed Sunday. A heavier maintenance check was done October 3, and the jet last underwent a major overhaul in December 1999. Another overhaul was scheduled for July 2002.
• All three New York-area airports -- Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark -- closed after the crash. They later reopened to accept incoming flights, and LaGuardia and Newark also began allowing departures.
• All of New York's bridges and tunnels were closed after the crash, but they were later reopened to outbound traffic.
• A senior FBI official said there had been no intelligence gathered and no threats made, "nothing to indicate this was an act of terrorism."
• Armed F-15 Eagles were already airborne over New York at the time of the crash and fighters were flying Combat Air Patrol (CAP) over Washington, senior defense officials said. News of the crash sparked the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) to scramble jets already on "strip alert" at a number of other bases around the country. (Full story)
• The United Nations went into a partial lockdown after the crash. The U.N. Security Council's president issued a statement expressing shock at the news of the crash and offering "heartfelt sympathies to the people of the United States and families of those who lost their lives." (Full story)
• The Empire State Building was evacuated as a security precaution.
• About 200 family members of passengers on the plane were waiting at the Las Americas International Airport in Santo Domingo, said Dominican customs official Evelyn Aredondo. "People are watching TV, waiting to hear something," she said. "They are very upset."
• American Airlines set up a telephone number for family members to call for information. The number is 1-800-245-0999.
Pending - links- Private hi security
Flight 587 Passenger List
Nov. 14, 2001
(CBS) American Airlines Flight 587, bound for Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, broke apart and crashed nose first minutes after takeoff from New York's JFK airport into a working-class seaside neighborhood in Queens. The crash set several homes on fire.
The crash and subsequent fire killed 251 passengers, nine crew members and at least five people on the ground.
This is a final list of passengers and crew for the flight, with citizenship, as provided by American Airlines.
Capt. Edward States, United States
First Officer Sten Molin, United States
Deborah Fontakis, United States
Barbara Giannasca, United States
Wilmer Gonzalez, United States
Joseph Lopes, United States
Michele Mills, United States
Carol Palm, United States
William Valdespino, United States
Manuel Abreu, Dominican Republic
Juana Abreu, United States
Candida Rosa Acosta, United States
Oneida Acosta De Araujo, United States
Rosa Alcantara, United States
Selene Alcantara, Dominican Republic
Danny Alcantara Taveras, Dominican Republic
Hipolito Algarroba, United States
Ubencia Algarroba, United States
Josefina Allende, United States
Ramon Almanzar, United States
Rosa Almanzar, Dominican Republic
Juan Almonte, Dominican Republic
Luz Alvarado, Dominican Republic
Rafael Alvarez, United States
Marina Aponte, United States
Regina Arroyo Molina, United States
Jovanny Baez, Dominican Republic
Noemi Batista, United States
Lialette Batista, United States
Tito Bautista, Dominican Republic
Baudilio Bautista, United States
Xiomara Betances, Dominican Republic
Dennis Blair, United States
Jose Bonilla, United States
Wilberto Brito, United States
Pedro Brito Rodriguez, United States
Angela (Maria) Burdier, Dominican Republic
Martina Burdier De Rodriguez, United States
Maria Burdier Tapia, Dominican Republic
Robert Cabrera, Dominican Republic
Consesora Calaff, United States
Ramon Calderon, United States
Petronila Capellan, United States
Genimiz Carty, United States
Juana Castillo, United States
Santana Castillo Fernandez, United States
Sobeira Cedeno, United States
Angel Celestino, United States
Christina Charles, United States
David (Ching) Chen, Taiwan
Victor Cornelio, Dominican Republic
Juan Coronado, United States
Gladys Coronado, United States
Danilo Corporan, Dominican Republic
Eduarda Corporan, United States
Janet Corporan (infant)
Gisela Cuello, United States
Indira Cuevas, United States
Federico de la Asuncion, United States
Karla de la Cruz, United States
Clara de la Cruz, United States
Leonardo de la Cruz, United States
Leonte de la Cruz, United States
Marino de la Cruz, Dominican Republic
Angela de la Cruz, Dominican Republic
Glen de la Cruz, United States
Maria de la Cruz, United States
Alexandra de la Cruz, United States
Juan de la Cruz, United States
Rafael de la Cruz, United States
Alcibiades de la Cruz, United States
Ramona de Leon Corporan, United Stats
Nieves de los Santos, Dominican Republic
Guadalupe del Rosario De Peralta, United States
Eustaquio Delarosa, United States
Reynida Delgado, Dominican Republic
Patricia Demarchena, Dominican Republic
Lorenzo Despradel, United States
Robert Despradel, United States
Roberto Despradel (infant)
Victor Diaz, United States
Francisco Diaz, Dominican Republic
Luz Diaz, United States
Maria Diaz, Dominican Republic
Alejandro Diaz, United States
Eduvige Diaz Pachano De Bright, Dominican Republic
D Angelo Dilone, United States
Julia Dominguez, United States
Adriano Espino, Dominican Republic
Florentine Estrella, United States
Migulima Fabre, United States
Marra Filanovsky, United States
Ilya Filanovsky, United States
Lasar Flores, United States
Mariana Flores, United States
Lasar (Isaiah) Flores, United States
Anthony (Antonio) Forteza, United States
Nalda Galva de Reynoso, Dominican Republic
Milagros Garcia Perez, United States
Eduardo George, United States
Milton George, United States
Felix Gervacio, United States
Jose Gomez Contrera, United States
Pedro Gonzalez, Dominican Republic
Carmen Gonzalez, United States
Regina Gonzalez, United States
Sylvie Greleau, Great Britain
Altagracia Guerrero, United States
Dariana Guerrero, United States
Diomarys Guerrero, United States
Glenda Guzman, United States
Johnny Guzman, United States
Nicolasa Guzman De Mercedes, Dominican Republic
Miguel Guzman, Jr, United States
Marion Hartigan, United States
Teofilo Hernandez, Dominican Republic
Juan Hernandez, Dominican Republic
Carla Hernandez, United States
Joanny Hernandez, United States
Jean Heuze, France
Yohanly Hidalgo, United States
Dario Hidalgo, United States
Alexander Hodge, United States
Joseph Huber, United States
Frances Huber, United States
Sarah Huertas, United States
Jose Vicente Infante, United States
Yamil Jerez, United States
Humberto Jimenez, Dominican Republic
Yesica Jimenez, Dominican Republic
Jayke Jimenez (infant)
Roberto Jimenez Perez, United States
Ernestina Jiminian, United States
Jose Lafontaine, Dominican Republic
Melvin Landsman, United States
Elaine Landsman, United States
Luz Maria Lendof, Dominican Republic
Marcelina Liriano Guerrero, United States
Mercedes Lopez, United States
Emily Lopez, United States
Argentina Lopez, United States
Roberto Lopez Jr, United States
Jose Lora, United States
Karl Lora, United States
Mercedes Luciano De Veloz, United States
Maricio Made, Dominican Republic
Ana Made, Dominican Republic
Victor Marcano, United States
Digna Marte, Dominican Republic
German Martinez, Dominican Republic
Aurora Martinez, United States
Yanelly Martinez, United States
Angel Martinez, United States
Sura Martinez, United States
Juan Martinez, Dominican Republic
Ibelise Martinez De Goris, Dominican Republic
Nieve Mason, Dominican Republic
Virgilia Mateo, United States
Nuris Matias, United States
Dominga Matias, Dominican Republic
Orlando Mtos Perez, United States
Hilda Mayol, United States
Carmen Medina, Dominican Republic
Wilfrido Medrano, United States
Ashot Melikjanian, United States
Grace Mena, United States
Wilton Mendez, United States
Daisy Montalvo, United States
Diane Monte, United States
Remedios Montilla, Dominican Republic
Antonia Morales, United States
Luis Morales, United States
Efrain Mota, United States
Luis Munoz, United States
Alen Noboa, United States
Victoria Nova Rivera, United States
Fatima Nunez, Dominican Republic
Aaliya Nunez Reynoso (infant), United States
Siegried Objio, United States
Rosanna Ogando, Dominican Republic
Ramon Oviedo Germoso, United States
Angel Paradis, United States
Carmen Pena, Dominican Republic
Katherine Pena, United States
Michael Pena, United States
Magnolia Pena Nadir, United States
Yelisa Peralta, Dominican Republic
Ramon Peralta, Dominican Republic
Augusto Peralta, United States
Fernando Perez, United States
Carmen Perez, Dominican Republic
Jose Perez, Dominican Republic
Maria Perez Mendez, Dominican Republic
Luis Perreaux, United States
Jean Phanord, Haiti
Luis Pichardo, Dominican Republic
Ramona Pimentel, Dominican Republic
Nurys Polanco, United States
Ercilia Polanco, United States
Reyna Prospero, United States
Joseph Ramirez, United States
Victor Ramirez, Dominican Republic
Jose Ramirez, Dominican Republic
Rafael Ravelo, Dominican Republic
Eleuteria Reid-Hay, United States
Agapito Reyes, Dominican Republic
Roberto Reyes, United States
Norbeto Rivera, United States
Julio Rodriguez, United States
Ruben Rodriguez, United States
Julia Rodriguez, United States
Maria Rodriguez, United States
Lucia Rodriguez Almonte, United States
Juana Rojas Javier, Dominican Republic
Mercedes Roman, United States
Whilman Rosa, United States
Angel Rosa, United States
Jose Rosa Toledo, Dominican Republic
Danilo Rosario Castillo, Dominican Republic
Rosa Ruiz, United States
Johanna Sanchez, United States
Gilbert Sanchez (infant)
Felix Sanchez, United States
Luis Sanchez, United States
Jose Sanchez, United States
Elvis Sanchez, United States
Timo Santala, United States
Iris Magali Santana, Dominican Republic
Jose Siri, United States
Imelda Solis, United States
Daria Soriano De Batista, Dominican Republic
Asencion Sosa, United States
Franklin Soto, United States
Balbina Soto De Rodriguez, United States
Angela Suazo Perez, United States
Lina Tabar, Dominican Republic
Milagros Tabar, Dominican Republic
Maria Tatis, United States
Jose Tatis Minaya, Dominican Republic
Guadalupe Taveras, United States
Ivelisse Taveras, Dominican Republic
Adaline Tejeda, United States
Evelyn Tolentino, United States
Po Tseng, Taiwan
Feliciano Valera Sierra, United States
Maximo Valerio, Dominican Republic
Norma Valoy, United States
Maria Vargas, United States
Ilan Vaserman, Israel
Zeneida Vega, Dominican Republic
Carlos Veloz, United States
Braudilio Veloz, United States
Gloia Ventin, United States
Cristopher Ventin, United States
Maria Del Carmen Ventura, Dominican Republic
Nicola Villella, United States
Kathleen Williams, United States
Cesar Zabala, United States