A US Airways jet with more than 150 people on board came down into the frigid Hudson River off Manhattan after apparently hitting a flock of geese on Thursday and officials said everyone was rescued. The Federal Aviation Administration said "We've confirmed everyone got off." A number of people were injured and taken to New York hospitals on a day that had seen a snow storm in the morning and below freezing temperatures. The FAA said it was investigating reports that the Airbus A320 plane hit a flock of birds after taking off from New York's LaGuardia airport. Witnesses saw it make an emergency landing, kicking up a cloud of spray on the river. US Airways said 150 passengers and five crew were aboard the Airbus A320 when it came down. The pilot radioed flight controllers that he had hit birds a few miles (kilometers) from the airport, law enforcement sources said. A passenger said that a few minutes after takeoff he heard what sounded like an explosion. "The engine blew. There was fire everywhere and it smelled like gas," Jeff Kolodjay, from Norwalk, Connecticut, said on a midtown Manhattan quay. He said the pilot announced that the plane was going down and told passengers to brace for the impact. After the plane landed on the water, he said, "People were bleeding all over. We hit the water pretty hard. It was scary." The pilot brought the plane down in a cloud of spray in the fast moving river, which runs to the West of Manhattan island. Kolodjay said he and others climbed onto a life raft and were rescued from there. As many as eight ferries and local water taxi services rushed to rescue passengers, some of whom lined up on the half-submerged plane's wings wearing yellow life vests, before police boats arrived. Aviation experts said that landing a commercial jet on water without the plane breaking apart was extraordinary. "A water landing is typically even more destructive than a ground landing. It is amazing an Airbus jet was able to land in the river without breaking up," said Max Vermij, a plane accident investigator with Accident Cause Analysis of Ottawa, Canada. Flight 1549 was headed for Charlotte, North Carolina. Nick Prisco was driving on the highway by the river when he saw the incident and pulled over. Like many in a city that lived through the 9/11 attacks, the sight of a plane flying so low immediately revived for him memories of the attack by hijacker airliners in 2001. "It was bizarre, it was surreal. I thought it was a terrorist attack," he said. A spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security in Washington said there were no indications that this incident was a result of a terrorist attack. National Transportation Safety Board records show there have been more than 200 incidents involving bird strikes since 1962.