- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 11, 2006

5:34 p.m.

NEW YORK (AP) — A small plane with New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle aboard crashed into a high-rise condominium tower today on the Upper East Side, killing at least four people and raining flaming debris on the sidewalks below, authorities said.

There was no immediate confirmation Lidle was among the dead, although a federal law enforcement official said Lidle’s passport was found on the street beneath the crash site.

A law enforcement official in Washington, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Lidle was on the plane. And Federal Aviation Administration records showed the single-engine plane was registered to the athlete.

The four deaths were confirmed by Ellen Borakove, a spokeswoman for the medical examiner’s office. There was no word yet on injuries linked to the crash on an overcast October afternoon, which sent thick black smoke soaring above the city skyline and flames shooting out of apartments above the tony neighborhood.

On Sunday, the day after the Yankees were eliminated from the playoffs, Lidle cleaned out his locker at Yankee Stadium and talked about his interest in flying. He explained to reporters the process of getting a pilot’s license, and said he intended to fly back to California in several days and planned to make a few stops.

Lidle, 34, a nine-year major league veteran, came to the Yankees from the Philadelphia Phillies in a late-season trade. The journeyman pitched for seven teams during a career in compiling an 82-78 lifetime record.

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