Empire State Building – B-25 Bomber Crash (1945)

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On Saturday July 28th, 1945, over two months since the end of the War in Europe (against Nazi Germany), and around a month before the end of the War in the Pacific (against Imperial Japan), an unarmed and lone B-25 Mitchell Bomber – which was involved in the routine transportation of military personnel – flew into the north-side of New York’s Empire State Building (due to thick fog) at 9.40am, colliding with the 78th, 79th and 80th floors, All three crew were killed, as were eleven workers present in the building. Despite America still being at war, there was no mass hysteria, and no pronouncements of indignation from the US government, as life went on as usual. the Empire State Building was back open for business on the following Monday. Interestingly, all the bodies of the crew were eventually found intact, as were the eleven bodies of the workers (although the pilot’s body took longer to recover as it had fallen-down a lift shaft). As far as I am aware, this accident caused the only known incidence (outside of horror films) of an elevator crashing down an elevator shaft (falling 75 floors into the basement). The lift attendant – Betty Lou Oliver – survived this ordeal. The Empire State Building also survived this accident reemarkably well, and did not topple-over infront of the world’s media.

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