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. f

    Why can't everyone just stfu and stop trying to make this a soap box. It's just news, it's not a commentary.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Louis

    Did it land on someone carrying a small child?

    October 4, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  3. JonjoJr

    There are people injured by accidents all the time. I don't see it in the news!!! I hope they are okay, but damn give me some real news.. yawns!! The reason why it is news its because it happened in New York. I know i'm going to hear about this all afternoon, and there will be helicopter experts brough in to give their take on the making of a helicopter, and we are going to have people that survived the plane crash a few years ago to give their take on how it felt yahda! yahda! yahda!

    October 4, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • el Guapo

      you are a moron! The news is a water rescue of a helicopter – this is beyond the normal "accident" and it being in NYC is of no importance. Your comment would then make the coverage of the fire in Texas as "not worthy" of coverage because as we all know – there are fires in lots of places. Exactly what type of unique news event are you waiting for CNN to cover? Can I suggest "Brainless Dbag stops posting on CNN" that might be worth reading.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • fairandsquare2

      Exactly my thoughts el Guapo!

      October 4, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      @el guapo: there's an awesome mexican restaraunt downtown tulsa called 'el guapo'. Rooftop dining.. Sweet

      October 4, 2011 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Derp

      Yet here you are . . Are you low functioning?

      October 4, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bill

    Probably just a rescue drill being passed off as a real event.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dee

      what an ignorant comment.

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

      Oh I'm sorry, Dee. I forgot we have all the facts and corporate news should always be taken at face value.

      October 4, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Joe

    Of all the places to crash a helicopter, NYC's toilet must be the worst. I hope they're ok, but they will probably have to bathe in paint thinner for a week to get the smell off.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Adam

    All you grandstanding fools should be ashamed of yourself. This is news. Not the "Tiger Woods slept with someone" TMZ crap that you confuse with real news and people issues. And then to make light of with bad jokes all the while hiding behind your computer screen. Internet tough guys....

    October 4, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • cecilia

      you are so right – it makes me sick – I don't understand at all. my guess is that everyone one of these people were school yard bullies

      October 4, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • NickM


      October 4, 2011 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
  7. big mo

    The FDR just needed some trafic so x 1 shoud complane

    October 4, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Geezer

    Unfortunate accident, but is it really front page news? If the chopper would have crashed in some hole in Idaho most people wouldn't even this happened. But New Yorkers are so self absorbed they think everything that happens there is interesting to everyone else.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lorena

      I wouldn't want it to happen anywhere, but, when you compare apples to apples the chances of someone getting hurt in NYC is greater than a hole in Idaho. Check your population chart. Don't think we are self-absorbed. The one who is asking and crying for attention is the one who, in turn, seems to be self-absorbed.

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

      If this had happened in Idaho, the comments would not be as stupid as those of you commenting on a NY crash. People in Idaho are caring people.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
  9. cecilia

    if you don't like it – don't read the dang article and there are some who do care

    October 4, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  10. TAK

    What's the saying? "Any landing you can swim away from..."

    October 4, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Shameful

    I can't believe some of the things you people write. Why not be bold and put your real name, don't hide behind a message board. I pray for you evil minded people.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • LOL

      coming from the one whos hiding behind the name 'Shameful' hehe

      October 4, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  12. denco

    Wow these comments are awful. This is news. Its not everyday a helicopter crashes, and I have to say, I've seen it in the news in other places other than New York. I just hope everyone is okay. Everyone is so disrespectful, no wonder why this country is going down the drain.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  13. LARRYD

    Unless it was a relative of yours you moron

    October 4, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Willie Vera

    Espero que se encuentren bien , el Piloto o otros pasajeros
    God please help them
    From Ecuador Gualaceo

    October 4, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  15. el Guapo

    Sorry for the long-winded response. Should have kept it simpler. Great headline to see would have been "JonJo Sr. apologizes to world for what his seed has wrought".

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