North American B-25 Mitchell - Empire State Building Incident

Empire State Building Incident

On Saturday, 28 July 1945, at 0940 (while flying in thick fog), a USAAF B-25D crashed into the north side of the Empire State Building, hitting between the 79th and 80th floor. A total of 14 people were killed; 11 in the building, along with Colonel William Smith and the other two occupants of the bomber. Betty Lou Oliver, an elevator attendant, survived the impact and a subsequent uncontrolled descent with the elevator. It was partly because of this incident that Towers 1 and 2 of the World Trade Center were designed to withstand the impact of a Boeing 707 aircraft (although the aircraft that hit the towers on 11 September 2001 had significantly higher masses and were traveling at substantially higher speeds).

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