2 Killed, 3 Critically Injured in NYC Helicopter Crash

This image made from video provided by the New York City Police Department shows the scene of a helicopter crash in the East River in New York on Sunday, March 11, 2018. Photo: New York City Police Department via AP
This image made from video provided by the New York City Police Department shows the scene of a helicopter crash in the East River in New York on Sunday, March 11, 2018.

March 11, 2018 09:18 PM

A helicopter crashed into New York City's East River around sundown Sunday and flipped on its side, killing two of the six people aboard and leaving three others in critical condition, officials said.

A spokesman for the mayor's office, Eric Phillips, confirmed the fatalities on Twitter. 

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Video taken by a bystander and posted on Twitter shows a red helicopter land hard in the water and then tip over as its rotors slap at the water.

The helicopter, a model used by tourist companies, went down near Gracie Mansion, the mayoral residence. A small armada of rescue boats searched for survivors.

Witnesses told local media that the helicopter appeared to fill with water quickly.

"Its' cold water. It was sinking really fast," Mary Lee, 66, told the New York Post. "By the time we got out here, we couldn't see it. It was under water."

Witnesses described seeing at least one person emerge from the helicopter and wave his or her hands for help.

A Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman said the Eurocopter AS350 went down just after 7 p.m.

The skies over New York constantly buzz with helicopters carrying tourists, businesspeople, traffic reporters, medical teams and others. Crashes are not uncommon.

A crash in October 2011 in the East River killed a British woman visiting the city for her 40th birthday. Three other passengers were injured.

A helicopter on a sightseeing tour of Manhattan crashed into the Hudson River in July 2007, shaking up the eight people aboard but injuring no one. In June 2005, two helicopters crashed into the East River in the same week. One injured eight people including some banking executives.

The other hit the water shortly after takeoff on a sightseeing flight, injuring six tourists and the pilot.
 

Credits

The Associated Press

(Copyright 2018 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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