It is a sad day. Nothing grieves me more than to have to report to you that this morning, an American Airlines flight was lost in New York. I will be leaving for New York immediately to lead the American Airlines Care Team that is responding to today`s accident. Our primary concern will be to provide support to the families of our passengers and employees lost today, to all of our employees and to the people on the ground in NY.
At this time, we have no indication of what caused the accident. We have moved quickly to help organize the response and to support the investigation. Toward that end, I have already been in touch with Andrew Card at the White House and with Mayor Guiliani and Governor Pataki in New York, as well as with officials in Santo Domingo.
Let me just provide some basic facts about the flight today. It was American Airlines Flight 587, an Airbus A300 aircraft en route from New York Kennedy to Santo Domingo. The airplane was lost today shortly after take off from Kennedy Airport. The preliminary passenger list indicated the aircraft carried 246 passengers and a crew of nine.
Family members wishing to receive information about passengers may contact American Airlines at our toll-free number at 800 245 0999.
As you would imagine, today`s news comes at a difficult time for the nation, for the airline industry and for American Airlines. Given the changed world we live in today, it will be as important as it has ever been to quickly and accurately determine the cause of this accident. First and foremost, however, our thoughts and prayers are with the families of our passengers and employees of those lost today.
I will be leaving immediately from DFW for New York. Let me turn you over to Al Becker to provide some additional information.