updated 10/12/2006 1:21:34 AM ET 2006-10-12T05:21:34

When a small plane hit a Manhattan condominium tower Wednesday, many feared it was 9/11 all over again. And then, as soon as people began to relax and learned it wasn’t terror-related, the crash took on a human face with word that Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle had died.

When we asked you to share your thoughts, hundreds quickly responded. Some relived memories of the attacks on the World Trade Center. Others raised concerns about the safety of tall buildings and wondered what the plane was doing flying so low over Manhattan in the first place.

“Why in the world was the plane allowed to fly there? …This was very preventable,” wrote one reader.

Many mourned Lidle — and still others pointed out that he wasn’t the only one who died and that the other victims deserved as much attention.

“This really drives home the fragility of life, and how things really can change ‘in a New York minute,’” wrote one reader.

Read on for more reader responses:

As a native New Yorker, this really struck home for me. I realized this was not an act of terrorism, but one can't help recall those same feelings we felt five years and one month (ago). (Hearing that one of the victims) was a New York Yankee, young, married, and with children makes it that much sadder. It is fortunate that not more people were injured. It is perplexing why an inexperienced pilot would be flying in these weather conditions without tower communication. I think back to five  years ago when I was supposed to be at a job interview in the World Trade Center on 9/11 but was fortunately (and fatefully) rescheduled, and now today when I could have been working nearby at the main hospital at my place of employment, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. It reinforces the sense of how fleeting life is and a sense of destiny. My thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Lidle's family as well as with the Yankees. It's almost hard to wrap one's head around the senselessness of this tragedy.
— Melissa Ivery, New York

My first thought: "Oh God, not again." Then when I heard more and that it was a light, private plane, I knew it wasn't terrorists ... they can't do the kind of damage they want with a small plane. As far as the pitcher, I don't follow sports so my personal feeling is just that he's another man the same as anyone else but I feel sorry for all the people that look up to someone like that and have lost someone they think highly of.
— Mark H., Yuma, Ariz.

This is a tragic accident. I have been following Cory's career since he was with Oakland. Cory was a classmate of mine at South Hills. My prayers go out to his wife and son.
— Toni O’ Connell, Aurora, Colo.

As a former pilot of small planes, I am aware that mechanical or electrical problems (such as Cory may have experienced) can occur with small planes, although I believe they are the exception. Whatever happened to cause an emergency in flight for Cory (and looking at the photos of the building with the river nearby) my first thought was why didn't he attempt to put the plane down in the river ... away from any buildings? My second thought was why didn't Cory deploy the parachute that comes standard with this airplane and is designed to lower the plane to the ground in just such an emergency? Cirrus, I believe, is the only small plane manufactured which has a built-in parachute. We may never know the answers. The loss of two lives was certainly a tragedy. You always wonder whether or not it could have been prevented.
— Rick Hungerford, Bluffton, S.C.

I was sitting in a restaurant and saw the smoke billowing from yet another high rise in New York. I and my guest were wondering if another plane was to follow. What an eerie feeling to say the least. What a shame about Cory Lidle. I pray for his family and friends and of course the entire sports world.
— Sue Dixon, Aurora, Colo.

All of us in my office immediately spoke of where we were on 9/11. You can't help but flash back to it. The death of Cory Lidle is indeed tragic. Any time a young person dies, it's tragic. This really drives home the fragility of life, and how things really can change "in a New York minute.”
— Lynn, Sarasota, Fla.

This reminds me of another Yankee battery member, Thurman Munson, and a small plane. Though not beloved like Munson, Lidle was a pitcher with potential to be great and had shown flashes of brilliance in his career. … As the list of deaths published shows many players who died in their prime, one questions the viability of flying as a hobby. May his soul have peace and his family comfort.
— Barry, Pasadena, Calif.

It was interesting to me how quickly I reacted to the news. I immediately thought it was another terrorist attack. This shows me how my thinking has changed about such events: I am more suspicious, maybe even a little paranoid. I am very pleased the media published the facts as soon as they were known. Getting information quickly about the event eased my concerns dramatically.
— Lois, Dearborn, Mich.

Five years and a month after September 11, 2001, our nerves are still rattled. Our morale is shaking. Our hope is weakening. …
— Tyler DeShaw, Washington D.C.

I will honor Cory Lidle tomorrow by wearing a Yankees sweatband I got from Yankee Stadium last summer all day. My prayers go out to the Lidle family.
— Taylor Delpidio, Mandeville, La.

My first thoughts were, "Oh, those poor people in New York City ... they must have all been so frightened again when a plane crashed into another high rise. I only know of the pitcher and I just feel for his family ...  What a tragedy!
— Denise, Dedham, Mass.

The safety of skyscrapers is obviously a much more serious issue than most people think. Are such excessively tall buildings like the World Trace Centers too tall? Lost in the horrific 9/11 attack was the politely forgotten negligence of anyone who would even allow such "excessively tall" buildings to be built in the first place without ever having developed a way to get people out in the event of a fire. Amazingly, it was also estimated that it would have taken fully-equipped fire fighters seven hours just to reach the fire. Does that sound safe to you? Big cities around the world clamor for the biggest skyscrapers as a status symbol, but such a race politely overlooked the safety aspects involved. Heck, my grandfather had a piece of the B-25 Bomber that flew into the Empire State Building by accident back in the 1945. Long before 9/11, hijackers also tried to fly a jumbo jet airliner into a Caribbean hotel only to be foiled at the last minute by struggling pilots. Thus, 9/11 should have been properly anticipated and defended against. Oh, but dare I forget that would have cost money. …
— Chris Eldridge,Harrisburg, Pa.

That a private airplane could operate that close to Manhattan surprises me. I recall helicopters in the area, but I do not recall that many small planes. I love Manhattan. It seems as if it were part of all our lives. The crash stunned me.
— Ted Michael Morgan, Baton Rouge, La.

He was a great man. We will all miss him. The Yankees will not be the same without Cory Lidle.
— Daniel

Reading the story caused my eyes to tear up. I instantly was transported back to the morning of 9/11 when I heard the shocking news. I was fearful that terrorists were involved again and that our supposed security measures in the five years since 9/11 were for naught. It's tragic that anyone's death would be in a manner that would likely invoke the memory of 9/11.
— Megan, Sacramento, Calif.

Why in the world was the plane allowed to fly there, a fairly new pilot, etc.? This seems crazy to me. It is sad the pilot died, and sadder yet that (another) died. This was very preventable.
— Mary, Long Beach, Wash.

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