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. Judy

    Doesnt anyone screen what some idiots are writing down. This is shameful. Lets hope all get out uninjured.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geezer

      You're the idiot. It's called freedom of speech. You're probably another tea bagger.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • rmsbl4

      No there isn't. That's why there is a report abuse tab. If no one reports the idiotic comments they just stay there.

      October 4, 2011 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • rmsbl4

      Judy read the statement under the block where you asked your question and you will see how the idiotic comments get on here.

      October 4, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  2. ryan

    The women are in critical condition, the men are fine.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Sk8terdude

    wow, that had to be a really bad situation, hope everyone on the helicopter are found and ok, i would feel terrible if i was them, nearly drowning in the brown waters of NYC. I live close to there, so i know how bad it smells......... i hope they are ok

    October 4, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Willie Vera

    What else is new in New York City?

    October 4, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ljl

    wow, what a bunch of asses to be so flippant and callous about this. It's a helicopter in the river – that would be reported by CNN if it was NY or Bumwipe, Arkansas or Pennsylvania or any other state. People may have died. And we have callous responses like NY is the armpit of the US. Who the hell are you? Big person behind an anonymous name. mayeb it would be different if one of your loved oens was on the copter? try some compassion idiots. And, I am not from NY, nor am I from the US.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • AgrippaMT

      Being upside down in the river made it even better. It's amazing four survived.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jack

    It's sad anytime, anywhere a chopper goes down. And those people are in my prayers. But it is true. It's a much bigger story because it happened in New York.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • NickM

      No, it's a big story because the passengers were a foreign family. That makes it an international story.

      October 4, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Your Friend

    Seriously, if this happened in Evansville, IN would it be "BREAKING NEWS" on the front page of CNN? I highly doubt it.

    I do, honestly, hope all are OK, though, regardless of the location.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • MisterPL

      Are you suggesting that helicopters crash into the East River all the time?

      October 4, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mr. Wright 212

      Not the place for your out of town inferiority complex.

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

      Someone should look into Helicopter crashes. My brother and his wife, along with 4 other passengers and the pilot were all killed when taking a Helicopter to view the Glaciers in Alaska. The pilot was foreign and had very little experience. Don't know if this incident was a sight-seeing excursion, but please use caution when deciding if a great view is worth dieing for.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • patrick

      Yes, if this happend in the fattest city in the country (Evansville,IN) it would be news.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Your Friend

      Patrick, do me a favor and link me to the article stating that. You might be speaking of a survey.

      October 4, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Atteckus

      I would think that if this happened in Evansville, Indiana, and the coast guard rescue swimmers were actively risking their lives in very cold, murky water, with live victims trapped in a helicopter under water, the drama would dictate that it was a top story. Its the drama, not the location, that dictates the level of coverage.

      My prayers to the victims, their families, and to those most brave coast guardsmen and fire/rescue workers.

      October 4, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  8. wrathog

    Another charming display here. [You know whom I am referring to ...] So, in keeping with your subtle, rapier wit - I hope the next one comes down on your family's house, and burns ... after the passengers get out. DNA is a terrible thing to waste.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Pebkac

    That's the end for that heliport... They'll take steps to close it. Too bad, we'll only have the Wall St. Heliport.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  10. woodstocker

    some UN Potentate maybe?

    October 4, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  11. PooDIPIDI

    I was just playing Grand Theft Auto 4 right now and crashed my helicopter in a multiplayer death match. I'm just sayin.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Niko Belich

      lmaooo yeah that came to mind

      October 4, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Bills Cat

    Unless the Koch Brothers or Rupert Murdock were on it, file this under local news.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • NickM

      It's not "local" news because the passengers were a foreign family. A British family.
      THAT'S why it's a bit more than local news.

      October 4, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
  13. There are no gods!

    who cares?

    October 4, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  14. just me

    how though? i mean how did it even crash? strong winds? unfocused pilot?

    and to all the people trolling: if a helicopter fell somewhere...it would definately be in the news..not matter where in the world...

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

      Try explaining to a 5 year old why somebody being found in a crash is covered in a sheet..Maybe your news should be rated R....

      October 4, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Sorry about that...I didn't mean to do my reply on your site...my bad..

      October 4, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Dave

    Looks like whoever they recovered is dead. Thanks for being on top of that CNN. How about a little discretion. Did it have to be "live"? There goes dinner...

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

      The report says "critical.". Don't be so harsh.

      October 4, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Dead...what don't you get...did you not see it?

      October 4, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      They just reported the 5th person was dead...I saw that and I wasn't there...well done CNN!!!

      October 4, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      How about showing them "rescue" the 5th person again???!!! I'm not knocking any Coast Guard, EMT's police,firefighters, or anyone else there trying to help. They are doing the best they can!!! I am knocking CNN for showing that on the news..If you were part of the family of the victims that were watching as that last person came out of the river covered in a sheet you wouldn't be feeling so good...

      October 4, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
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