- Two people died after a helicopter crashed into the East River in New York City just after 7 p.m. on Sunday.
- Six people were on board the helicopter at the time. One person has been rescued and three people were taken to hospital in a critical condition.
- Witnesses reported the helicopter hitting the river sidewards and then inverting.
- The FAA is investigating the incident.
Two people died after a helicopter crashed in New York City’s East River on Sunday evening.
A spokesman for the mayor’s office, Eric Phillips, confirmed the fatalities.
Three passengers were taken to hospital in a critical condition, according to New York Police. Six people were on the helicopter, including the pilot.
The pilot was able to free himself, said Daniel Nigro, the New York City Fire Department commissioner, at a press conference.
Police and fire divers recovered the other passengers from the helicopter that was completely submerged and upside down. At the time, the temperature was below 40 degrees Farenheit (4 degrees Celsius).
The crash, which occurred just after 7 p.m. on Sunday, was filmed by a bystander. In the video the helicopter appears to hit the water and then tip over.
Other witnesses said the helicopter, a Eurocopter AS350, sunk quickly, and that at least one passenger was able to emerge and wave their arms for help.
SEE IT: Video footage of Helicopter crash into the East River at 90 St in Manhattan Injuring 5 people. (Credit @Jjmagers) pic.twitter.com/twEaiLdFLN
— NYC Scanner (@NYScanner) March 11, 2018
“It kind of hit sideways and just flipped over,” Brianna Jesme, an Upper East Side resident told Reuters TV.
Early reports indicate the helicopter was owned by Liberty Helicopter Tours and had been hired as a private charter for a photo shoot.
The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the incident and the National Transportation Safety Board will be arriving on Monday morning to begin determining the cause of the accident.