99 Percent Invisible/Radio Diaries: The woman who survived an 80-story fall

99 Percent Invisible home pageRoman Mars, host of the 99 Percent Invisible podcast, always has interesting stories on his show. This one, produced by the Radio Diaries podcast, left me gob-smacked. North-American-B-25D-Mitchell-'Yankee-Warrior'-_-Flickr---CROPPEDIn the summer of 1945, a B-25 bomber flown by an experienced pilot was traveling from Massachusetts to New York City. It was a routine charter flight, carrying a few servicemen as passengers. The fog had been constant but manageable for most of the trip. However, as they approached their destination, the fog began to thicken, reducing their visibility to zero. The pilot requested landing clearance, but La Guardia Airport denied his request. Ignoring warnings from the traffic controllers, he began his descent anyway. After a moment, the clouds broke slightly, and he found himself flying among the skyscrapers of New York City! Empire State Building on fire after being rammed by a B-25 bomber - July 28, 1945 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!At the same time, a 19-year-old woman named Betty Lou Oliver was working on the 79th floor of the Empire State Building. An elevator operator, she was waiting at her station post for the next group of passengers to convey between floors. Suddenly, there was a muffled explosion, and her elevator car shuddered horribly. What happened next was both a nightmare and a miracle…

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Download this episode of 99 Percent Invisible here. You can also find this and other 99PI episodes on iTunes and via RSS. You can subscribe to Radio Diaries on iTunes or through their home page. [Running time: 17 minutes] ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ images:
99% Invisible masthead background: View of apartment building exterior by Christiaan Triebert | Source | CC

North American B-25D Mitchell “Yankee, image taken by D. Miller | Source | CC
Empire State Building on fire after being rammed by a B-25 bomber – July 28, 1945, scanned by Adam Rifkin | Source | CC

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