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. the word

    The four saved their own azzez....and to hell with the trapped woman....heroes!!!!!

    October 4, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  2. LDOP


    US gives more to others then their own.

    Billions spent by the US giving HIV and AIDS medications away for free in the 3rd world as HIV and AIDS patients DIE here because they cant afford the medications.

    October 4, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Majestic_Lizard

    One question: Was the pilot a woman?

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


    Some past president falsified intel to gain support for a war that has killed US Soldiers and the citizens of another country. Over 100 thousand dead because of him.

    Costing us BILLIONS and our men and women in arms so he can look better then his daddy.

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

    Breaking News:

    Tea Party groups accept monitory donations from KKK and Ne Nazi groups.

    October 4, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    I am very saddened by this accident in my city.
    I send my deepest sympathy to the family of the passenger who died.

    October 4, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Scamtannehill

    My heart goes out for the family and friends of the injured and lost. The bitter sweet thing about watching this video is the rescue teams at work. Those people are the Heroes of today. I pray we never take them for granite and all they ask is stay out of the way and let us do our job !

    October 4, 2011 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rhog

      Take them for "granted". Granite is a kind of rock.

      October 4, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • USA! USA! USA!

      Take them for "granite"? Lol. Ahh, a product of thr American education system, I see...

      October 4, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
  8. banasy©

    My condolences to the family of the victim in this horrible accident.
    My good wishes to the injured, that they may heal quickly.

    The only thing obese here is your massive stupidity to even bring this up! You must like to see the tripe you spew in print...there's no other excuse for your behavior...unless you're a sociopath who gets off on other people's pain.
    Shame on you.

    October 4, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • USA! USA! USA!

      Natural selection can be cruel sometimes. You take a risk flying in a helicopter. Stuff happens. Sometimes people die. What's weird is that so many uninvolved, unrelated people reading a news-site pretending to care. People die every day. You have better odds of living another day if you stay out of helicopters. Duh. Move along, empty sympathizers.

      October 4, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. octopus

    Is it too hard for some people to comprehend that there's the Reply button exists?

    October 4, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • USA! USA! USA!

      No, but it is, however, hard to comprehend your comment saying "that there’s the Reply button exists"...

      October 4, 2011 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
  10. USA! USA! USA!

    Good riddance!

    That's one less filthy human to consume our globe's dwindling resources!

    October 4, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
  11. banasy©

    Reply buttons are not available for some mobile versions on CNN.
    Hence, the @octopus.

    October 4, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
  12. @USA! USA! USA!

    You're a dick.

    October 4, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • USA! USA! USA!

      Well, what I said is true, like it or not. Calling me names doesnt change natural selection.

      October 4, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  13. @USA! USA! USA!

    Please, remove yourself from this planet. We'll all be better for it.

    October 4, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  14. NickM

    Angela O
    The Colgate-Palmolive accident you're thinking of was a BK117 which crashed after shedding a tail fin into the tail rotor, due to metal fatigue which the manufacturers had not anticipated to happen that soon. This one's a Jet Ranger (which has a good service record) so I doubt the causes are similar.

    Whatever the cause, my heart goes out to those involved, especially for the lady that died.

    October 4, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  15. @USA!

    I said to please remove yourself from the planet. How you do it is up to you.
    Natural selection has nothing to do with this accident, but it's typical of a dick to skew Darwin as you do.

    October 4, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
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