Maybe one day they will include it on the safety instruction card: in the event of a crash, please do not start Twittering until you have left the aircraft.

An American software engineer appears to have raised the bar on real-time citizen-journalism after the Boeing 737-500 he was traveling on careened off the runway on take-off at Denver International Airport Saturday.

As flames engulfed the plane, Mike Wilson sent his first Tweet even before managing to get off the aircraft, alerting his friends and family to the drama: "Holy f***ing s*** I was just in a plane crash!"

It was the first of 30 messages Wilson sent to the popular microblogging service, initially via text message and then, when he got home later that night, via the Web. Each message is a maximum of 140 characters long.

The aircraft veered off the runway at about 6:22 p.m. MST on Saturday, shedding one of two engines and catching fire as it skidded off into the snow.

• Click here to read the rest of this story in the Times of London.

• Click here to read Mike Wilson's Twitter postings.

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