Five dead in New York helicopter crash
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 3/12/18, 11:04 am
A private helicopter crashed into New York’s East River on Sunday, killing all five passengers on board, officials confirmed Monday. Only the pilot survived. The Liberty Helicopters’ Eurocopter AS350, hired for a photo shoot, crashed near the Gracie Mansion mayoral residence. Witnesses told The New York Times the helicopter was moving faster and lower than usual before it plunged into the cold water and capsized. A tugboat rescued the pilot after he climbed to the top of the craft. Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said police and fire department divers who responded to the crash had to remove the passengers from their tight seat harnesses in the upside down, submerged cabin. Two passengers died at the scene while three others died in local hospitals. “They worked very quickly as fast as they could,” Nigro said of the divers. “It was a great tragedy that we had here.” Authorities are still investigating the cause of the crash. Helicopters are a common mode of travel for both commuters and tourists in New York. In 2011, a helicopter crashed into the East River, killing three people. In 2009, another helicopter operated by Liberty Helicopters crashed into a small plane, killing at least nine people.
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Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.