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(NECN: New York) - A US Airways plane has crashed into the Hudson River. New York City firefighters are responding to the crash. Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Laura Brown says the US Airways Flight 1549 had just taken off from LaGuardia Airport enroute to Charlotte, N.C., on Thursday when the crash occurred in the river near 48th Street in midtown Manhattan. FAA says all passengers are off the plane and safe. Brown says the plane, an Airbus 320, may have been hit by birds. The plane was submerged in the icy waters up to the windows. Rescue crews had opened the door and were pulling passengers in yellow life vests from the plane. Several boats surrounded the plane, which appeared to be slowly sinking. Information from the Associated Press is included in this report.