I got the call the call just a little before 11 am. It was my brother, just returning from a two week Hawaii cruise along with two other brothers, wives and my mom and dad. He was at Long Beach airport, just getting into the private plane that would carry my family back home to Washington State.
Did you get my email, he asked. No I didn’t. Wait, it just came in. Here is what was on the email:
With calm but shaking voice he explained that as they were boarding their plane at Long Beach, a King Air lost on an engine on takeoff and crashed in a horrific fireball. Then he had to go. That, by the way, is another brother taking a photo to the right of this photo.
I immediately forwarded the email with the image to my family. Geoff, social media guru that he is, immediately went to work tracking the coverage of this in social media, moving into mainstream media. Here’s what he found:
FIRST TWEET? 10:40:veroairlines small plane crash @ long beach airport (klgb)
FIRST MEDIA (radio): KNX1070: Report: Plane crashes and explodes into a fireball at Long Beach Airport
ABC7: #BREAKINGNEWS Fire dept says twin engine aircraft crashed at or near Long Beach Airport. More soon on abc7.com
about 1 hour ago via web (10:40ish)
yankees368 @NYCAviation A twinengine plane crashed at the Long Beach Airport An ABC7 viewer reported seeing a large fireball at the time of the crash.
CNNSoutheast RT @CNNBig22: #CNN: Long Beach, CA fire confirms that 5 people died in plane crash. The plane burst into flames upon impact. #breakingnews
half a minute ago via yoono
FIRST MAJOR NEWS: CNNBig22 #CNN: Long Beach, CA fire confirms that 5 people died in plane crash. The plane burst into flames upon impact. #breakingnews
less than a minute ago via yoono
Conflicting reports on casualties
INLANDNEWS Long Beach plane crash update: 2 are reported dead. Plane was a king-air that exploded into flames on take-off.
17 minutes ago via TweetDeck
DaveAlpert UPDATE: FIVE dead in Long Beach plane crash, KABC-TV reports
18 minutes ago via TweetDeck
Actually.. I just found this helpful tool (beta) from Google: http://www.google.com/#sclient=psy&hl=en&tbo=1&esrch=RTReplay&q=long+beach+plane+crash&aq=f&aqi=&oq=&pbx=1&tbm=mbl:1&tbs=mbl:1&fp=6ee0a7c46b233991
I tweeted but did not have time to do a search. But I did see the first email alert come in from LA Times at 11:15a.
One minute later, at 11:16, Geoff sent me a link to a live video feed from a helicopter showing crews working at the crash site.
From Los Angeles I got copied on the first wire report which occurred at 10:56:
Not long after, the story was found on LAtimes.com:
Is there any doubt we live in an instant news world?