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Small plane crashes into New York's Hudson River

A boat searches for the wreckage of a vintage P-47 Thunderbolt airplane that crashed into the Hudson River on Friday evening. Credit: Reuters

A small plane crashed into New York's Hudson River on Friday, police said.

The World War Two vintage P-47 thunderbolt aircraft went down off Manhattan's West 79th Street, a few miles south of the George Washington Bridge.

The plane was taking part in celebrations for its 75th anniversary.

The New York Police Department said it recovered a body from the plane believed to be the 56-year-old male pilot, but said it could not confirm the body's identity.

It made kind of a U-turn, and then there was a stream of smoke coming from it.

It was tilting down toward the water. I thought they were doing some sort of trick. I didn't realize it at first, but it was a plane crash.

– Siqi Li, witness speaking to Daily News

Around six police and fire rescue boats trawled through the river into Friday night as authorities continued their search.

New Jersey State Police Sergeant Jeff Flynn said the plane was in the area because of Fleet Week, a week-long celebration of the US military's seafaring service members.

An investigation has been launched into the causes of the crash.

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