A helicopter carrying tourists crashed in New York’s East River, killing a woman and hospitalizing three other passengers, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.
The crash, just off the 34th Street heliport, occurred after 3 p.m. At least some of the five people aboard were related to each other, Bloomberg said. Two were taken to Bellevue Hospital in critical condition, one was in serious condition at New York University Hospital, the mayor said.
The dead woman, whom the mayor declined to identify pending notification of her family, was trapped in the inverted helicopter as it sank in the river, Bloomberg said. The pilot survived and was treated at the scene, he said.
A police scuba team and emergency medical technicians from the fire department arrived at the scene within minutes of the crash, Bloomberg said.
“Four out of the five got out on their own, the fifth got trapped in the helicopter,” Bloomberg told reporters at the scene. “The response was everything you could ask for.”
The helicopter was a Bell 206B, according to Federal Aviation Administration records. The owner is listed as Paul P. Dudley of Linden, New Jersey, according to the records.
The National Transportation Safety Board, which investigates aircraft accidents, is sending a team to the accident site, according to a statement from the agency in Washington.
The accident is the latest helicopter crash in the city’s waterways. A police chopper crashed into Jamaica Bay near Brooklyn on Sept. 22, 2010, after a mechanical failure, according to NTSB records. None of the six occupants suffered serious injuries.
A helicopter carrying five Italian tourists crashed into the Hudson River on Aug. 8, 2009, after it collided with a small plane. The crash killed nine people.
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