Published: Thu, June 13, 2019

Helicopter crashes on roof of building in midtown Manhattan

Helicopter crashes on roof of building in midtown Manhattan

A helicopter made a crash landing onto the roof of a midtown Manhattan skyscraper on Monday, killing at least one person and sending a plume of smoke skyward from the top of the building.

The crash on a rainy, grey day atop the 54-storey AXA Equitable Centre forced office workers to evacuate in one of the city's busiest areas a few blocks north of Times Square.

Mr McCormack - who qualified as a Rotorcraft flight instructor past year - had been certified in 2004 to fly helicopters and single-engine airplanes, according to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records.

"There were hundreds of people and I would say dozens of emergency vehicles as well surrounding the perimeter of the building", she recalls.

New York Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro announced that the fire was quickly extinguished after firefighters used the building's elevators to gain access to the crash site and pumped water over 700 feet.

- On April 15, 1997, Colgate-Palmolive executive Craig Tate died when the helicopter in which he was a passenger crashed into the East River off Manhattan, according to media reports at the time.

The pilot was the only person aboard the chopper when it plunged into the building and burst into flames, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told a news conference.

De Blasio said it was unclear why they pilot - identified as Tim McCormack, 58, of upstate Clinton Corners - would start flying over the city after attempting such a maneuver.

Multiple news outlets in NY are reporting that a helicopter has crashed into the building at 787 Seventh about 2:15 p.m. local time.

The helicopter was privately-owned by American Continental Properties, which confirmed that the deceased had flown for them for the past five years. Cuomo's office said the president and governor had spoken.

Helicopters are often used for transportation and sight-seeing over Manhattan. He crashed 11 minutes after, at 1:43 pm.

"There was a moment in which we all couldn't get out of the building because we're all just backlogged in there", Aries said.

"I'm aloof because when I came down, I didn't know what became going on", mentioned Electra Steward, whose employer, BNP Paribas is in the constructing.

The helicopter crash spread panic and it took over 30 minutes for the people to get from the 29th floor down to the ground floor. Speaking at the scene, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told reporters there had been "casualties" on board the helicopter, but that no one in the building had been hurt. "It felt like you were just standing there, and someone takes their hand and just shoves you", he said.

"Chief McCormack was extremely respected by not only the members of the department, but throughout the Dutchess County fire service".

Many witnesses said the crash brought back memories of the 2001 attack.

The skyscraper is managed by Los Angeles-based CommonWealth Partners. It said in a statement that "our hearts are with his family and friends".

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