New York City Fire and Police Departments responded to a helicopter crash on the roof of a skyscraper in midtown Manhattan Monday, June 10.
Authorities say the helicopter crashed about 11 minutes after taking off from a Manhattan helipad.
Police Commissioner James O’Neill said that the helicopter was privately owned and had taken off from a helipad on the East River.
“What we know is that approximately 1:32 this afternoon the helicopter took off from the 34th Street Heliport and about eleven minutes later crashed on the roof across the street from where we are now. Right now, our detective bureau, our intelligence bureau of the FBI are working with the FAA and the NTSB to gather additional info on the pilot. We believe we tentatively identified the aircraft, the flight path and its owner. Don’t have too much more as we said that’s a preliminary.” said Commissioner O’Neill.
The police commissioner said the helicopter’s home airport is in Linden, New Jersey, and may have been heading there before it crashed down onto the roof of the AXA Equitable building just before 1:45 p.m.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said that there is no information at this point that indicates this was an act of terror.
”We had a very strange and a very troubling incident this afternoon here in Manhattan. Helicopter crashed into a building here. I want to say the most important thing first. There is no indication at this time that this was an act of terror. And there is no ongoing threat to New York City based on all the information we have right now.” said de Blasio.
The Fire Department of New York responded quickly to extinguish the fire on the skyscraper rooftop and made an unfortunate discovery explained Fire Department Commissioner Daniel Nigro.
“1:43 this afternoon we received a call through 911 that this helicopter had crashed on the roof of this building. Members our units local units responded in a little over four minutes. Members of the fire department, members of the police department made their way to the roof. We were able to put water on the on the fire quite quickly. Unfortunately, we did find a victim with the helicopter who, as the mayor stated, we presume was the pilot.” said the Fire Department Commissioner.
The helicopter was flying over the East River in rain and heavy clouds, then inexplicably headed right into Manhattan airspace which, for security reasons, is restricted airspace.
The airspace restriction has been in effect since President Donald Trump took office. It bans aircraft from flying below 3,000 feet and within a one mile radius of Trump Tower. The helicopter was well within that radius and and well below altitude when it crashed, just several blocks from Trump Tower.
It remains to be seen whether the investigation into the incident will discover why the pilot redirected his flight path from the East River straight toward that part of Manhattan. Authorities called it an emergency landing.
Officials did not release the name of the deceased pilot.
O’Neill said the aircraft was used for executive travel.