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. AgrippaMT

    There's nothing quite like going for an unexpected sudden swim in an open sewer like the East River.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Truthwillsetyoufree

    Was some of the GOP on it? I hope so...

    October 4, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Domi

    Are you serious??? Who cares what city or states makes the CNN front page. The point here is that people are missing and hurt. If I heard the same accident happened in any other city, I would be as compassionate as I am now. No matter if I heard it on the radio, tv or read it on the paper, online.

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

    Let's hope it was full of cops

    October 4, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Irish cop

      LOL you wish

      October 4, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Panda-monium

    Seriously, this is breaking local news, not breaking national news. New Yorkers think anything is important if it happened in Manhattan, at Yankee Stadium, or in the East River.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • roer200

      We feel that way because you actually care to. You clicked. You responded, and millions of others watched on tv. Whaaaawhaaaa.

      October 4, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • NickM

      Seriously, it's international 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 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
  6. chrissy

    BRAVO! BRAVO! lol u go el guapo! couldnt have said it better or probably half as well even!

    October 4, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Joel

    Another miracle – this time on the East River instead of the Hudson River.

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

      these helicopters are out of control. they make my life hell and i can't say that i am surprised nor sorry that this happened. residents of new york city have been telling the mayor and other officials that this is a dangerous activity for all but the greed and stupidity of this mayor kept this industry in business. how many have to die before this is stopped?

      October 4, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  8. mj

    In case you missed my prior post .. Do not know if this was a "Tourist Helicopter", but will tell you that they are dangerous. Lost my Brother and his wife, along with 4 other passenger and the pilot to a "Tour of the Glaciers in Alaska". They were on an Alaskan Cruise. Pilot had little experience in the area. Before you board a Helicopter please check the credentials of the Pilot.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • CmonNow11

      mj – Sorry about your brother and his wife, but to conclude from two instances that "they are dangerous" seems a bit hasty.

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

      I would not get in one of those things at gunpoint. It's like a Volkswagen with a propellor on top. Not feeling the sturdy and safe thing, I'm thinking.

      October 4, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Eva

    That su cks. Hope everyone is ok...

    October 4, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  10. truthiss

    such a shame, they shot down the protesters 😦

    October 4, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Maryann

      Congratulations, you win Most Irrelevant Post of The Day.

      October 4, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Todd

      Shame you weren't on the copter

      October 4, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mike

    Helicopter water landings don't end well. With no wings and a high center of gravity, they roll inverted immediately, disorienting any survivors not stunned by the impact. Those who fly helicopters over water go through special training in a dunk tank simulator to prepare them to react instinctively.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  12. +terrydmeyer

    Shame on CNN for showing the "BREAKING!" footage of the woman victim/patient being wheeled to the ambulance with her breasts exposed. Not in the prudish sense, but as a common decency for the woman's modesty and a patient's privacy.

    Clearly CNN is more concerned with sensationalism.

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

      thats the great part of live tv. they dont hide the truth! u need to realize that is better than not seeing it

      October 4, 2011 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve Rowland

      Don't blame CNN for showing the female exposed. Blame the fire department paramedics for not being prepared!

      October 4, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve Rowland

      Don't blame CNN for the female being exposed – blame the firefighter paramedics for not being prepared!

      October 4, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ISABEL


    October 4, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  14. estibaliz

    In the meantime, Holder is going to be thoroughly exposed with his his involvement with F and F.

    Republicans and Democrats want to impeach Obama

    October 4, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  15. chrissy

    and peanut again shame on you! fox news just reported there were 5 ppl on that copter 4 ppl rescued and they are searching for the 5th. Do you feel better?

    October 4, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
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