Escape as plane lands on New York highway

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A pilot made an emergency landing on a New York City highway in front of shocked drivers after the light aircraft developed engine trouble while on a Statue of Liberty tour.

He and his two women passengers were being treated for non-life-threatening injuries at a Bronx hospital.

Emergency workers took the Piper PA-28 off the northbound lanes of the Major Deegan Expressway in the Bronx on a flatbed truck.

New York mayor Bill de Blasio said the aircraft was heading back to Danbury Municipal Airport in Connecticut after the tour when it landed on the highway at about 3.20pm local time.

“We have ... an extraordinary situation and actually a bit of a miracle, thank God, that happened today in our city,” he said, calling the successful highway landing, without any serious injuries or deaths “amazing”.

“I thought I’d seen everything in my life,” he added.

The Federal Aviation Administration said damage to the aircraft was minor.

Pictures taken by bystanders showed the blue and white plane largely intact, but resting on its belly. The plane’s landing gear appeared to have collapsed.

Workers fixing potholes saw the plane in distress and stopped the traffic, clearing space for the plane to land.