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A helicopter has crashed in NYC river, killing 5 people while pilot survived

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The aircraft was hired as a private charter for a photo shoot

Anna Freeman

12 Marzo 2018 15:29

Five people have been killed after a helicopter crashed into New York’s East river on Sunday night and quickly submerged and flipped upside down in the water.


A video shot by a bystander showed the helicopter land and then capsize, killing all five passengers. The pilot managed to escape and survived the incident after being rescued by a tugboat.

The helicopter was a private charter hired for a photo shoot and crashed near Gracie Mansion, north of Roosevelt Island.

Passengers aboard the fatal helicopter were recovered by police and fire department divers, who had to remove them from tight harnesses while they were upside down, fire commissioner Daniel Nigro said.

Witnesses said the aircraft made loud noises and then suddenly dropped into the water and quickly submerged. The pilot then appeared on the surface, holding on to a flotation device as a tugboat.

A Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman said the Eurocopter AS350 went down just after 7pm. Liberty Helicopters, a company that offers both private charters and sightseeing tours popular with tourists, was in charge of operating the helicopter.

This is not the first helicopter tragedy in New York. In 2009, another Liberty sightseeing helicopter of the same model collided with a small, private plane over the Hudson river, killing nine people.

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