One dead, four hurt as helicopter crashes in New York's East River
Members of the Coast Guard attempt to rescue those in the East River after a helicopter crashed Tuesday afternoon.
October 4th, 2011
04:29 PM ET

One dead, four hurt as helicopter crashes in New York's East River

[Updated at 6:00 p.m. ET] New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg told reporters that four out of the five people aboard the helicopter, including the pilot, got out by the time rescuers arrived.

"The fifth person was trapped," he said. That person, a woman, has died, he said. Her identification was pending as authorities sought to notify next of kin, Bloomberg said.

How the accident happened is still not clear, but "the helicopter was inverted, upside down" when rescuers arrived, he said.

Apprently the pilot was "having problems and tried to turn around, but that could change," he said, referring to preliminary reports.

He said the chopper wasn't equipped with flotation devices. "It’s optional whether you have flotation devices, but most helicopters do not have them. To the best of our knowledge it was a private helicopter," he said.

[Updated at 5:39 p.m. ET] New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is expected to speak shortly about the helicopter crash, CNN's Wolf Blitzer reports. Four people pulled from the East River have been taken to the hospital, he said. One person has died.

[Updated at 5:30 p.m. ET] Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Don Deleo, who was aboard one of the boats dispatched into the East River after the helicopter crash, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that investigators are “basically just trying to figure out what exactly happened.”

Deleo said that there were several agencies on the scene and that the Coast Guard's role  “as of right now is to secure the scene … so that operations continue to recover the helicopter,” he said.

[Updated at 5:02 p.m. ET] One person has been confirmed dead and four injured, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer reports.

[Updated at 5:01 p.m. ET] Authorities were still investigating the cause of the crash, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer reports.

Rescuers pulled an unresponsive woman  from the water moments ago. TV cameras showed paramedics pushing a woman on a gurney to an emergency vehicle nearby.

[Updated at 4:46 p.m. ET] Rescue crews have pulled a fifth person from the water, CNN's Jason Carroll reports.

[Updated at 4:29 p.m. ET] The search in the East River is still ongoing with divers in the water, CNN producer Julian Cummings reports.

He said that there are at least five to six rescue boats in the waters and the helicopter that crashed is completely submerged.

[Updated at 4:27 p.m. ET] The FDNY says on Twitter: "Current report: 1 male pilot stable condition, 2 adult females in critical, 1 adult male stable, searches continue."

[Updated at 3:58 p.m. ET] Coast Guard officials say it is not clear whether the incident has left anyone injured.

Dozens of people gathered on the water's edge as emergency officials treated those involved in the crash.

The bottom of the helicopter could be seen floating in the water as rescue boats circled the scene.

In an interview with local affiliate WCBS, a former FDNY Commissioner says the water temperature is approximately 68 degrees.

[Posted at 3:39 p.m. ET] A helicopter has crashed in New York's East River, according to a Coast Guard official.

Images broadcast on CNN affiliate WCBS showed at least three people being towed to shore in a rescue effort.

This story is developing. We'll bring you the latest information as soon as we get it.

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Filed under: New York
soundoff (259 Responses)
  1. Joel

    Miracle on the East River

    October 4, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Chris

    Watch out for Kramer!

    October 4, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • LumbarYard

      Haha, It's good for your back... Hope everyone's okay...

      October 4, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fred Evil

      What's that smell...?

      October 4, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Pilot

    What an idiotic comment – let's hope they make it out ok.

    October 4, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • forever21

      I feel REALLY bad for the families that lost loved ones

      October 4, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  4. John

    Peanuts, you are indeed an idiot.

    October 4, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  5. john smith

    FIRST!

    October 4, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Peanuts

      Your a little slow on the uptake there aren't you Mr. Smith. Did you get dropped as a baby? 😛

      October 4, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bond, Steve Bond

      First to say first in the middle of the blog.

      October 4, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  6. banasy©

    Here's hoping everyone is ok...

    October 4, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bond, Steve Bond

      Why?

      October 4, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fred Evil

      Because banasy has a heart? Because banasy is human? Because banasy is a better person than you?

      October 4, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Boomboxer

      I mean, come on! 6 days later and people still care individually more than you

      October 10, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Robert Dawes

    If you watched carefully, the EMT's were attempting to revive one of the persons pulled from the water, giving chest compressions. This will not be a good outcome.

    October 4, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • sugartaste81

      Yeah, my friend works in NYC and has a good view of the East River. She just said they are pulling bodies out 😦

      October 4, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Un Newsworthy

    Why is this BREAKING NATIONAL NEWS?

    October 4, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • sugartaste81

      I'd say most plane crashes are big news.

      October 4, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bond, Steve Bond

      Peanuts, you should be assaulted.

      October 4, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Anonymous

    Next up, CNN blames crash on Occupy Wall Street.

    October 4, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Voltairine

    The East River? O.o Yikes! From what I've heard, that's like crashing into the Pet Cemetery.

    October 4, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Louis

    Good!

    October 4, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Angel

    Hope they revived the one on the bank and everyone is recovered from the water.

    October 4, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Gizzy Face

    We'll see this on discovery channel in like 50 years from now. Some treasure hunter will be out there diving for the gold and stuff that everyone was wearing.

    October 4, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • channel29

      Thanks for the deep thought Jack Handy

      October 4, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  14. copterDown

    Look how dirty the water is. If the crash doesn't kill you... the water will. New Yuck!

    October 4, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • BFind

      The Hudson and East Rivers as well as NY Harbor have extreme brackish water since Hurricanne Irene due to the fresh water runoff from the Hudson. It has been coming down from the Hudson river for a month now. The week after the hurricanne the water looked like chocolate milk.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  15. bmora

    Pilot to coke-pilot, hold my beer. Look what I can do!

    October 4, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
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