Low-flying planes cause New York City scare

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Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he is furious that the federal government flew a presidential Boeing 747 and a fighter jet near ground zero part of a government photo opportunity and training mission. The incident on Monday caused a brief panic among workers, who said they were not notified in advance. Bloomberg said the flyover so near the World Trade Center site showed “poor judgment” and was insensitive. He said he is furious that the New York Police Department and another city agency were notified last week, but did not tell him. If he had known, Bloomberg said, he would have tried to stop it. The Federal Aviation Administration and the Air Force say the flight was a government photo opportunity and training mission involving a presidential plane. The White House staffer who organized the photo session apologized, but not before locals and an influential senator raised their voices. Worried workers from several office buildings poured out onto the streets before they learned that the flights were harmless. John Leitner, a floor trader at the New York Mercantile Exchange Building, said about 1000 people “went into a total panic” and ran out of the building around 10 am after seeing the planes whiz by their building, near the World Trade Center site. “Apparently, nobody in the building was informed that this was going to happen,” he said. “Everyone panicked, as you can certainly understand.”

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