One passenger, interviewed on WNBC television, said he saw the left engine blew out, and current reports say both engines went out. The pilot attempted to return the plane to LaGuardia, but the birds damaged the engines too severely. As the plane descended into the icy river, the pilot then guided it into a hard landing on the water. The passengers rapidly evacuated in a fashion described by the interviewed passenger as "kind of orderly." After waiting on the wings of the plane in the freezing cold while the aircraft sank into the river, police, fire and Coast Guard units rescued the passengers.