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Plane crash staged for 'Chicago Fire' fools TV news anchors

A plane crash staged on a Chicago roadway for the NBC show "Chicago Fire" managed to fool the folks delivering the news at WGN-Channel 9 on Friday morning.

Anchors Robin Baumgarten and Larry Potash spoke for a minute and a half as footage from a news helicopter was broadcast. "These are our first pictures, folks, so bear with us. We're not getting much information from anyone yet," Baumgarten told viewers.

The scene showed a small aircraft in the middle of a street. One wing was off the plane and on top of a car. People were milling about and emergency vehicles were on scene. A large hole in the road was also visible where the plane was assumed to have crash landed.

"It looks like some cars may have hit each other," Potash said.

"Man, can you imagine, you're driving down King Drive and a plane comes down in the middle of the road?" Baumgarten answered.

At the 1:30 mark the anchors learn about what's really going on. "Ohhhh," Potash said as a producer presumably speaks in his earpiece. "We are just getting word that this is being shot as part of a TV show."

"Are you kidding me?" Baumgarten responded. "They might want to tell the news folks when they're doing this." (You can watch the video on the WGN website.)

In a Chicago Tribune story, Larry Langford, a spokesman for the Chicago Fire Department, said information about the staged accident was not widely distributed. "It looks like it didn't get filtered down to everybody."

Deadline.com quoted a spokesman for Universal TV, which co-produces the series with Wolf Films: "All the usual protocol for this type of filming was followed."

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