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Last Updated: Friday January 16 2009 16:14 GMT

Plane's crash-landing in US river

The US Airways plane in the Hudson River

An American plane has crashed into an icy river in New York, but amazingly everyone on board survived.

The pilot was forced to bring the plane down in the Hudson River shortly after take-off from nearby LaGuardia Airport.

The 150 passengers, three air stewards and two pilots made their way out onto the wings where they were quickly rescued by ferries and emergency crews.

Officials think the plane's engines failed after it collided with a flock of birds. An investigation's under way.

One of the passengers describes what happened before the crash

The pilot, Captain Chesley Sullenberger, is being called Hero of the Hudson after successfully guiding the plane into the river and avoiding the skyscrapers of New York City.

Incredibly, no-one was killed, although one person suffered two broken legs and about 78 others were treated for minor injuries.

One of the passengers described what happened, saying he saw flames coming out of one of the engines about three or four minutes into the flight.

In pictures
Passengers waiting on the wings of the plane to be rescued
"I was looking right at it, because I was sitting right there," he said.

"It just started smelling a lot like gasoline and a couple of minutes after that the pilot said, 'You guys gotta brace for a hard impact'."

'Spectacular day'

The governor of New York, David Paterson, praised Captain Sullenberger for his quick-thinking actions.

"I think that in simplicity, this is really a potential tragedy that may have become one of the most spectacular days in the history of New York City's agencies," he said.