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. fred

    I am sure that terrorists from the middle east shot them down.

    October 4, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • michael

      fred get a life and grow up

      October 4, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  2. If I had a penny for every stupid Republican

    It's Bush's fault.

    October 4, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  3. clarke

    You are just a mean person.

    October 4, 2011 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jewel

    I can bet you...homicide is involved. lets see how investigations goes the next few days/weeks

    October 4, 2011 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Edwin

    Who cares? I live nowhere near New York....WHO CARES?!?!?!

    October 4, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Dave

    I guess no "Miracle" for New York like "Miracle on the Hudson"

    October 4, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  7. chrissy

    Wow! How insensitive can you get Burbank? That was one of theeeee most ignorant comments thus far!

    October 4, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  8. AgrippaMT

    Let's hope they all worked for one of the really big Wall Street brokerage firms or one of the "banks to big to fail."

    October 4, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • DumpPerry2012

      No, Agrippa, it was your pathetic excuse of a family that was in there. Your ma was servicing the pilot and he got distracted.

      October 4, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • carlosrico744

      let's hope the woman that didnt get out was sarah palin. if it wasn't, she surely will see an opportunity for a booksigning

      October 4, 2011 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. mike

    is it just me or have there been a LOT of airplane/helicopter crashes lately.

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

    I thought it was HORRIBLE that CNN decided to show the body of the 5th person (the one that died) being pulled from the water not knowing whether she was dead or alive. Yes, they authorities are waiting to release the name pending notification of the family, but the family could have found out when the images of their loved one's dead body was splashed across the screen during Wolf Blitzer. Have a little respect, CNN!

    October 4, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • brg

      CNN should probably remove the first video or edit it. At several points in the video you can see a person's arm and head bobbing just below the surface – just in front of the 2 people who are holding onto the bottom of the copter. It's not as obvious in the small web video, but when watching the coverage live on 50" plasma it was obvious, and horrible.

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

    Are they sure the one dead wasn't just floating by the wreckage? Sorry.

    October 4, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • carlosrico744

      let's hope the one that didnt make it was SARAH PALIN, FAILED " BEAUTY QUEEN", QUITTER, NON-READER, HATER OF BLACKS AND GAYS, LOATHER OF THE "LOWER 48" BUT QUICK TO SHOW UP FOR THE CASH AND CAMERAS, ETC ETC........

      October 4, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
  12. LDOP

    Breaking news my asss

    This gets breaking when some gang banger in some city shoots 2 kids in a drive by .. and that's not BREAKING NEWS..

    October 4, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. fairandsquare2

    So many people on this blogstill have not realized that they are posting under the wrong story. Goodbye!

    October 4, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • carlosrico744

      WHAT A MESS. THANKS BUSH. THANKS PALIN. END OF STORY. SARAH AND GEORGE W SHOT IT DOWN, THINKING IT WAS A BABY ANIMAL OR AN OPPORTUNITY FOR WAR........

      October 4, 2011 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
  14. LDOP

    Because is happens in NYC does not make it breaking news.. These SOB's in NYC need to know .. the world does not revolve around them or the Jersey Shore ..

    BREAKING NEWS.. 3 kids in some rural area die due to not getting food or health care because the banks scr3wed us to make money and their parents lost their jobs because of it ...

    October 4, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  15. LDOP

    BREAKING NEWS:

    Americans are getting asss raaaped by the tea party holding repubtards hostage ...

    October 4, 2011 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
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