A helicopter carrying five people crashed in New York City this morning, killing a British woman, officials said.
The accident occurred at around 3:20pm local time yesterday afternoon (3:20am today in Phuket) when a privately-owned helicopter crashed into the East River after taking off from the 34th Street Heliport on Manhattan’s East Side, New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg confirmed.
Bloomberg confirmed the death of one person, adding that all of the passengers were visiting the city from outside the country. The private helicopter was based in Linden, New Jersey although it is believed that the pilot was a foreigner as well.
According to reports, the pilot had reported having trouble keeping aloft and tried to turn back. However, he crashed into the water just north of the landing pad.
The New York Police and Fire Departments responded quickly to the incident, deploying emergency officers and Office of Emergency Management personnel who were in the immediate vicinity to the scene. Teams witnessed the helicopter inverted in the water with only its skids showing on the surface.
Police officers dove into the water and rescued three of the four passengers, Bloomberg said, adding that one of them was reported in a very critical state and two serious.
“One young woman I’m sorry to say did not make it,” Bloomberg confirmed. “She was gotten out later on by the Fire Department from the helicopter and her body was recovered roughly at 4:40 this afternoon. The pilot was rescued very quickly and brought ashore.”
“We pride ourselves on being the most welcoming city in the world, and we are, and to have a family come here to see and experience the best of our city and end up in a tragic accident like this just breaks your heart,” Bloomberg said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with them all and their families, and we are hoping that the three people in the hospital will pull through.”
The names of the people involved have not been disclosed until their families have been notified. However, preliminary reports indicate that all of them, including the pilot, were friends and were from Australia and Great Britain.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has launched an investigation into the incident.
— Gazette Editors
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