Helicopter Chartered For Photography Shoot Crashes In New York City

Drew Angerer  Getty Images  AFP | An aerial view of Lower Manhattan including the East River in New york

A number of plane and helicopter crashes over New York City's East River and Hudson River have claimed lives in the past several years. A bystander's video showed the helicopter land hard and then capsize in water about 50 feet (15 meters) deep.

Jennifer Platz, The Associated Press •.

All five passengers died, and Vance survived.

It's unclear what caused Sunday's deadly crash.

The pilot was able to free himself and was brought to shore by a tugboat. The chopper plunged into the East River after pilot Richard Vance made a "mayday" appeal for help, citing engine failure.

The other victims have been confirmed to be Dallas firefighter Brian McDaniel, Argentinean tourist Carla Vallejos Blancos, and New Yorkers Tristan Hill and Daniel Thompson.

Cadigan, also 26, had most recently been an intern at Business Insider until a few weeks ago.

In 2016, Cadigan graduated from Southern Methodist University. His father, Jerry, is the station's production manager.

The helicopter went down near Gracie Mansion, the mayoral residence.

"It took awhile for the drivers to get these people out".

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According to police, Harbor units from the NYPD and the Fire Department immediately responded, along with Aviation and the Coast Guard.

"It's a great tragedy that we had occur here on an otherwise quiet Sunday evening", Nigro added.

A 16-member "Go Team" from the National Transportation Safety Board was headed to the scene this morning to investigate the cause of the crash. "Divers are still in the water".

A video posted to Twitter showed the helicopter crashing down in the water, tipping over on its side as the rotors hit the water. "All of our aircraft are equipped with flotation devices on the skids for flights over water and you will be issued an FAA-approved safety life vest that you will wear around your waist comfortably during the flight", says Manhattan Helicopters, another operator of tourist flights in the NY area. The pilot breached the surface with a floatation device not long after the helicopter was submerged.

"It was sinking really fast", Mary Lee, 66, told the New York Post.

Six people were on the privately chartered helicopter owned by Liberty Helicopters, which bills itself as the largest and most experienced helicopter sightseeing and charter service in the Northeast. He also photographed the helicopter as they cruised over the Statue of Liberty at dusk. "The other five did not", said Robert A. Nigro, commissioner of the Fire Department of NY.

Photo A diver with the New York Fire Department is hosed down after he pulled victims from the submerged helicopter.

Two of the passengers were pronounced dead in the initial hours after the crash; three others died later at a hospital.

Two years before that, in July 2007, a Liberty sightseeing chopper carrying eight people dropped into the Hudson River.

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