Empire State Disaster
July 28, 1945 - A B-25 bomber on a routine transport mission slammed into the Empire State Building. All 3 crewmen died along with 11 people inside the building.
The accident happened in thick fog. Witnesses say the pilot made a desperate attempt to climb at the last second, but the plane carved an 18 by 20-foot hole between the 78th and 80th floors. One of the plane's engines flew all the way through the building and landed on a nearby penthouse.
The plane's fuel tanks exploded and caused a fast-moving fire. Firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze in less than 40 minutes. This is still on record as the highest fire ever successfully controlled.
Another world record goes to an elevator operator named Betty Lou Oliver. After being treated for severe burns she received in the initial crash, Betty Lou was loaded into an elevator and sent to the ground floor where an ambulance was waiting for her. Unfortunately the elevator cables had been damaged by plane debris and poor Betty Lou fell 75 stories to the basement. Miraculously she lived! This is still the longest elevator fall that anyone has ever survived.