Published: Mon, March 12, 2018

Helicopter crashes in New York City's East River

Helicopter crashes in New York City's East River

A tourist helicopter plunged into the East River Sunday night, leaving at least five people trapped inside the sinking vessel, police sources said.

Amateur video shows the helicopter crashing into the water, its rotor still spinning, and then overturn.

The helicopter was being chartered for a photo shoot when it went down near Gracie Mansion, the mayoral residence.

One person, reported to be the pilot, managed to escape and was rushed to hospital in a critical condition, Spectrum News NY1 reported.

The mayor's office confirmed two people had died in the crash.

Eric Phillips, a spokesman for Mayor Bill de Blasio, said in a post on Twitter there was "at least one survivor, at least two fatalities".

A Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman says the Eurocopter AS350 went down just after 7 p.m. It nearly looked very surreal and next thing we know it's approaching the water slowly and then it just completely crashed and then sunk.

A crash in October 2011 in the East River killed a British woman visiting the city for her 40th birthday.

Police are advising drivers to expect heavy traffic and emergency personnel in the area.

Six people were on board the helicopter at the time.

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