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Helicopter crashes into New York building, kills one person



On Monday, a helicopter crash-landed onto the roof of a building in midtown Manhattan, New York and caught fire, TOPNAIJA.NG reports.

One person died in the crash of the Agusta A109E helicopter, according to officials. That victim is presumed to be the pilot, according to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who also said there were no other known injuries.

“Thank God for that,” de Blasio said. “This could have been a much worse incident.” Only the pilot was aboard the aircraft when it crashed just before 1:43 p.m. on top of 787 Seventh Ave., a 51-story building located between West 51st and West 52nd streets, at the north end of Times Square.

A senior law enforcement official told NBC News that the pilot had dropped a passenger off at the West 34th Street helipad when he then took off and eventually flew onto the roof of the building.

Talking to reporters, New York governor Andrew Cuomo referred to common anxieties around initial reports of such incidents, as when a small plane flew into a tall building on the Upper East Side in 2006.

“If you are a New Yorker,” he said, “you have a level of PTSD from 9/11. And I remember that morning all too well. So as soon as you hear an aircraft hit a building, I think my mind goes where every New Yorker’s mind goes.”

Tucker said “someone got word” what happened while she was in the building stairwell. Asked what went through her head, she said: “9/11.”

She said: “I know a lot of people where having anxiety. Once you get stuck you don’t know what’s going to happen.” On getting out of the building, Tucker said, she called her family and then her boss, to let them know she was safe.

Helicopter crashes are not unknown in and around the steepling buildings of midtown and lower Manhattan. Last year, five people died when a sightseeing flight crashed into the East River, in which three people died in a crash in 2011. In 2009, not far from the scene of Monday’s crash, nine people were killed when a sightseeing helicopter collided with a small plane.

On Monday, outside the exclusion zone imposed around the skyscraper, on 53rd Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues, a Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) worker called Michael, who declined to give his surname, said that though he did not see the crash, he “heard a helicopter going by”.

He said: “I figured they were headed to the heliport on 34th Street. I said, ‘It’s flying too low. It sounded like a freight train.”

Then there was silence. “I thought he was trying to make an emergency landing,” he said.

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