A helicopter pilot was killed Monday when the aircraft he was flying crashed atop a midtown Manhattan building as New York City was covered with light rain and fog, officials said.
Officials said the crash appeared to be an accident and not terrorism, according to ABC. The report citing what it said was a senior official with the Federal Aviation Administration.
“The president has been briefed on the helicopter crash in Manhattan and continues to monitor the situation,” White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said, according to CNN.
“The preliminary information is that there was a helicopter that made a forced landing, an emergency landing or landed on the roof of the building for one reason or another. There was a fire that happened when the helicopter hit the roof. People who were in the building said they felt the building shake,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, according to CBS New York.
“We don’t know what caused the helicopter to land on top of the building, but people in the building itself, nobody has been hurt,” said Cuomo, who happened to be nearby.
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) June 10, 2019
He said the building was evacuated as a precaution.
Cuomo noted why any collision between any kind of aircraft and a building is a big deal in New York City — recurrent memories of the terrorist attacks of 2001, and the city’s continued vulnerability as a terrorist target.
“If you’re a New Yorker, you have a level of PTSD from 9/11 and I remember that morning all too well,” Cuomo said.
“So as soon as you hear an aircraft hit a building, I think my mind goes where every New Yorker’s mind goes” there, Cuomo said.
The crash was reported shortly before 2 p.m. A fire that broke out on the building’s roof was extinguished after 30 minutes.
Police said the building where the crash took place is the AXA Equitable Center, at 787 Seventh Ave. between 51st and 52nd Streets.
Witness Lance Koonce posted a video on Twitter of what he could see.
“We’re 1 block south. 20 mins ago there was a loud sound like a too-low #helicopter& I looked up and saw sheet of flame on roof and then smoke. News reports saying helicopter/small plane crash onto roof which would be consistent with what I heard/saw,” he tweeted.
787 7th ave, #midtown NYC. We’re 1 block south. 20 mins ago there was a loud sound like a too-low #helicopter & I looked up and saw sheet of flame on roof and then smoke. News reports saying helicopter/small plane crash onto roof which would be consistent with what I heard/saw. pic.twitter.com/swY3ksLskH
— Lance Koonce (@LHKoonce) June 10, 2019
Another witness posted video of the chopper just before the crash.
DEVELOPING: helicopter crashed into a building in Midtown Manhattan at 51st and 7th. Here is footage of the helicopter flying erratically before the crash (via @ThingsWendySees) pic.twitter.com/zCowdKvKuL
— Cooper Lawrence (@CooperLawrence) June 10, 2019
Franklin Acosta said he was in his 38th-floor office at Williams Lea Group Ltd. when the noise of some kind of aircraft was heard, USA Today reported.
“Then it stopped, and the building shook,” Acosta said. “I didn’t wait. I told my people to come down and get out of the building.”
The building where the crash took place is owned by Commonwealth Partners and CalPERS, according to NBC New York. It was built in 1986.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.