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Empire State Building Shooting: Killings Not The First Tragedy To Strike Iconic Building

The shooting of at least people outside the Empire State Building has shocked due to its busy, central location but it is not the first tragedy to have happened at the iconic building.

The shooting of eight outside the building on Friday is not even the first shooting. In 1997, Palestinian teacher Ali Hasan Abu Kamal, 69, opened fire on the observation deck of the tower, killing one and wounding a further six before shooting himself.

Kamal's wife later insisted he became suicidal due to dire financial straits with debts exceeding $300,000, while his daughter claimed he committed the shootings in order to get revenge on America for its support of Israel. He had apparently moved to the US less than three months before the atrocities.

Decades before Kamal's acts, the former world's tallest building was hit by a US military B-25 Mitchell bomber trying to reach Newark airport but lost itself in deep fog in 1945.

The plane struck the tower on the north side of its 78th and 79th floors, killing 11 in the building as well as the bombers' three man crew.

Betty Lou Oliver, one of the building's lift attendants, incredibly survived a 74-floor fall inside her elevator, returning to her job only months later.

Workers clear up wreckage after a bomber hit the Empire State Building by accident in 1945

During the 410 days it took to construct the Empire State, which had at times a crew of 3,000 and rose at a rate of 4.5 storeys a week, a total of 14 workers were killed while the building is also known to have been the site for a number of suicides, although the exact total of these is not known.

One of the most notable was the death of Evelyn McHale, who threw herself from the observation deck from the 86th floor, which led to a remarkable photo being taken by photographer Robert Wiles.

The photo depicts the 23-year-old McHale, after she crashed through the roof of a limousine, looking serene and unscathed from her tragic fall.

The incredible picture of McHale, taken shortly after she had jumped from the building