Wednesday 23 May 2018

NY chopper crash kills five

A helicopter is hoisted by crane from the East River onto a barge in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
A helicopter is hoisted by crane from the East River onto a barge in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Clark Mindock in New York

Five people are dead after a chartered helicopter crashed into New York's East River.

The helicopter's pilot - the only survivor in the chilly waters that separate Manhattan and Brooklyn - told investigators the incident may have been caused by a passenger's piece of luggage.

The helicopter was chartered for a private photo shoot when it went down.

Pilot Richard Vance (33) said luggage may have accidentally hit the emergency fuel shut-off button, leading to the crash.

In a recording, Mr Vance can be heard telling officials that he was going to crash.

Among those identified as having been killed were Brian McDaniel, a firefighter from Dallas; Trevor Cadigan, a video journalist originally from Dallas; and Argentine tourist Vallejos Blanco.

U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Go Team member inspects debris as the team gathers information on scene while awaiting salvage of the helicopter that crashed in the East River in New York, U.S. Photo: REUTERS
U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Go Team member inspects debris as the team gathers information on scene while awaiting salvage of the helicopter that crashed in the East River in New York, U.S. Photo: REUTERS

Two helicopter employees were also killed.

A video of the crash was caught by a witness who said the aircraft was flying unusually low to the water.

The helicopter is seen making a level crash landing before tipping, with its propellers splashing through the water.

Mr Vance managed to get himself free.

Liberty Helicopters is the only helicopter charter in New York City that has a special federal aviation authorisation to fly within 1,000ft (304m) of the Statue of Liberty.

Independent News Service

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News