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. FU

    The good news is all the survivors will be growing extra limbs by Friday...

    October 4, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Luke K

    Another Miracle in New York's River, lets hope, usually most people don't survive a helicopter crash

    October 4, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Farmerjess214

    I know where this is. its just after the exit from the UN and adjacent to two hospitals Bellevue and NYU langone..

    October 4, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • penisenvy

      glad to see that u have ur geography down so well! Keep up the good work!

      October 4, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Playjojo

      Aw, penisenvy! Your just stupid and angry because you don't even have one. Is that what makes YOU so ignorant?

      October 4, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Kate

    Why, when there is a crash or some tragedy that people are injured or hurt, do some idiots feel the need to make fun of it. How would you feel if it were your mother, father, brother, sister or someone you cared about and idiots on here were making flippant remarks about their lives? It saddens me that people that do this and amazes me that the people that do it are smart enough to even use a computer.

    October 4, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jilly

      I agree with you 100%! People will find any excuse to show their true, nasty colors!

      October 4, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lee

      I agree, but when you acknowledge them, it makes it worse.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Journalist

    To UnNewsworthy: It's BREAKING NATIONAL NEWS because a) it happened in New York; b) it was big news when the jet landed there a few years ago; and c) there is video of it. That's all it takes.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dom

      you're a dbag...congrats.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  6. shutup

    hope everyone is ok!!

    October 4, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Alex

    I wonder if it was a thwarted terrorist attack. Yep, I bet that's what it was.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  8. irishfirewife

    great job fdny marine division!

    October 4, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Kurt

    I feel for those that are injured or affected but if this were to happen in the Mississippi it wouldn't even make it past the local news.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sam

      That's because only New York matters. Does anyone even live in Mizzazippi?

      October 4, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  10. chrissy

    Dayum peanut sure would hate to be in your shoes on judgement day! No compassion at all really?? May god bless you anyway. And those from the crash too.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  11. socalpimp

    A couple car crashes in San Diego today....no news due to being on the west coast....

    October 4, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • sugartaste81

      Absolutely false. If car crashes were front-page news, every day we'd have about 500 headlines of "car crashes". Plane and copter crashes are big news because they are rare.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Igor

    Wow, I can’t believe some of you people are actually making fun of this. You are what is wrong with the world... just sit on that for a minute. Bet you would really be laughing if you were in the situation.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  13. The King

    Fox news reports the helicopter was torpedoed by an Al Qaeda sub, sarah palin blames Iran for the attack and thinks we should launch our nuclear missles in response.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Kurt

    Remember that Sam the next time you sit down to eat anything. The majority of it comes from the Midwest. I also said "IN THE" Mississippi meaning the river not the state.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Maggiemay

    You're an idiot peanut and learn to spell

    October 4, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
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