VAULT: 'Miracle on the Hudson' breaking news coverage from 2009

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Sunday, January 15, 2023
2009 breaking news coverage: Miracle on the Hudson (part 1)
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Watch archive footage from WABC/Eyewitness News showing breaking news coverage of the 'Miracle on the Hudson' -- which happened January 15, 2009.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- 14 years ago Sunday, US Airways Flight 1549 crash-landed on the Hudson River with no fatalities, causing it to be dubbed "Miracle on the Hudson."

Eyewitness News had extensive breaking news coverage on-air and online as soon as word of the water landing hit our newsroom that cold afternoon.

Re-watch our coverage from that day, pulled from our vast video archive, in the player above.

The event made Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger a household name after the courageous captain and his crew piloted the crippled jet and made an unthinkable belly-first landing on the frigid waters of the Hudson.

Last year, Sullenberger asked for thoughts from people who were in any way affected by the events of that day.

"As we reflect this year, Lorrie & I would love to hear from those who were affected in any way - what memories you have & the story you took with you from your experience," he wrote on Twitter. The entire thread can be read below.

Miraculously, all 155 people on board were rescued. But watching a plane with people standing on the wings in freezing temperatures floating down the Hudson was a sight many could not believe -- or forget.

Our live coverage continued with extensive coverage from the ground and in the air. Watch part 2 here:

Hours later, Mayor Michael Bloomberg gave an update. You can watch it here:

Our team coverage continued at 7 p.m. that night. Watch it here:

We followed that special report with in-depth reporting at 11 p.m. that night:

Check out photos of the scene of the landing here:

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An Airbus 320 US Airways aircraft that crashed into the Hudson River was towed to the west side of Manhattan for further inspection.
AP Photo/ Frank Franklin II



Flight 1549 had just taken off from LaGuardia Airport for Charlotte, North Carolina, when a flock of geese disabled the engines.

Circling west and then over the George Washington Bridge, the plane with 150 passengers and five crew members glided to a water landing.

"I saw half the plane submerged in the water and was just astounded by the miraculous event that just occurred and was just thankful, just absolutely thankful," passenger Ian Wells said.

Those on board then began moving precariously out onto both wings in what has become an iconic picture.

"I went out and slipped off the wing and went into the water," passenger Eileen Shleffar said.

Watching the unbelievable drama unfold, ferry captains from New York Waterways then became the first to reach the plane and began rescuing people.

Captain Vince Lombardi's boat was the first.

"It just goes to prove what discipline and hard work and teamwork, how successful it turns out," he said.


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