US stock markets have gone into freefall following a plane crash close to John F Kennedy airport in a residential area of New York.
The main fuselage of the American Airlines A300 Airbus travelling to Santo Domingo crashed into the Rockaways neighbourhood in Queens within minutes of taking off from JFK. The Airbus engine was detached from the plane and landed at a seperate crash site. The plane was full with 246 passengers and nine crew onboard.
An eyewitness interviewed on CNN reported seeing the plane going down "nose first". Others have reported seeing a fire in the aircraft's engine before the plane plummetted from the skies.
Investigations are underway to establish whether the crash was the result of catastrophic mechanical failure or sabotage.
The Dow Jones Index was down 171.67 points to 9436.33, and Nasdaq dropped 44.67 points at 1,783.81 as the news came through.
At 15.30pm, the FTSE-100 Index in London was down 104 points.
All airports, bridges and tunnels in New York have been closed and US fighter jets scrambled to patrol the skies above the city.