A man aboard a plane that crashed on take-off twittered the experience live.
Mike Wilson of Denver told subscribers to his twitter feed that he had been involved in the incident – from which 38 people were injured and a further two remain in critical condition.
"Holy f****** shit," Wilson tweeted on Saturday night as 2drinksbehind. "I was just in a plane crash!"
The updates that followed included a blurry picture of the scene:
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17:58PM: This was crash #2 for me. Maybe I should start taking the bus.
18:35PM: Can't see much, but that's the crash site. http://twitpic.com/ut2c
20.22pm You have your wits scared out of you, drag your butt out of a flaming ball of wreckage and you can't even get a vodka-tonic. Boo
Twitter's impact in 2008 cannot be underestimated. What was once written off as Facebook updates without the social network has become an increasingly valuable commodity.
The ability to send short text messages out as live events occur means that people involved in fast moving or major situations can act as primary sources for the media and, of course, emergency services.