Yesterday may have been a national holiday, but there were a number of stories Gothamist was intrigued by:

2004_07_planebanner.jpg

- A prop plane crashed into Jamaica Bay. Authorities are investigating what caused the plane, which had come from NJ and was perhaps on its way to the Hamptons, carrying an advertising banner for a "beverage," to crash, but they do not think it was intentionally crashed. Newsday reports a resident as being relieved it wasn't a bigger accident, saying, "Lord knows it could have been a terrorist." Gothamist thinks we stood near that resident and her friends at the fireworks, the ones who kept wondering about sarin gas in Battery Park.

- Police accidentally shot a 13 year-old wheelchair bound boy when they were pursuing a robbery suspect yesterday afternoon near fourth Avenue and 9th Street in Park Slope. The police managed to arrest Robert Mizell, who had used a fake gun to rob a shoe store, and say that it seemed that the "use of deadly force" was "justifiable," though they are investigating whether the gun went off or if the police officer meant to fire into a crowd of people. The Daily News reports that the boy, who is paralyzed from waist down, didn't realize he was shot until he saw blood from his leg. This is crazy and awful.

- A mattress factory in Brooklyn was set on fire by lightning yesterday afternoon. It doesn't seem that anyone died or was injured, but the factory was destroyed, leaving its workers worried about their prospects. The fire was so intense that it's called a six-alarm fire. Gothamist never realized that fires could go above five-alarm. Does anyone know what the classification of fires is? We can't find it on the FDNY site, but there is a good section on fire safety.