Helicopter crashes onto building in Manhattan

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A helicopter has crashed onto a building on Manhattan’s 7th Avenue, the Fire Department in New York has said.

The crash happened at the AXA Equitable Center, which is close to the Empire State Building and Times Square.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is at the scene, said a fire started when the crash happened and the building shook.

He said he believed the helicopter had tried to conduct a forced emergency landing.

New York Mayor Bill De Blasio said there was no indication that the crash was an “act of terrorism”, and said the person who died was believed to be the pilot.



Helicopter crashes onto building in Manhattan




The governor says the helicopter ‘landed or crashed, causing a fire’ on a building in New York City.

Helicopter crashes onto building in Manhattan
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Scene of helicopter crash

People inside the building were evacuated after the incident, with Mr Cuomo saying no further injuries had been reported.

He added that he understood the crash would prompt people to think of 9/11, but he offered reassurances.

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Donald Trump praised the “phenomenal job” carried out by emergency services, and for those still at the scene.

He added: “The Trump Administration stands ready should you need anything at all.”

Witnesses described feeling the building move as the helicopter made impact.

Nathan Hutton, who works for French bank BNP Paribas on the 29th floor of the building, said: “It felt like you were just standing there, and someone takes their hand and just shoves you.”

“You felt it through the whole building.”

Another witness who was also in the building at the time told ABC News: “You could smell the smoke coming down from the upper floor and it smelled like burning construction material.”

He added: “When we got to the first floor… that was when we were told ‘everybody get out now’.”

Meanwhile, Melvin Douglas, who was selling umbrellas on the street below at the time of the crash, said he heard a “rumble”.

He said: “I didn’t see it, but I felt it. Smoke was on top of the building.”

Helicopter crashes onto building in Manhattan
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A firefighter carries a stretcher at the scene of the incident
Helicopter crashes onto building in Manhattan
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Police at the scene of the helicopter crash in New York

Emergency services have blocked the streets with dozens of fire engines and police cars, and people have been warned to stay away from the area as the fire department work to control fuel leaking from the helicopter.

The weather in New York is currently wet and cloudy, with one witness in an adjacent building describing the crash site as “very foggy”.

Sky News correspondent Hannah Thomas-Peter said: “There’s very, very limited visibility – it’s really raining hard.”

Helicopter crashes onto building in Manhattan
Image:
Police at the scene of the helicopter crash in New York
Helicopter crashes onto building in Manhattan
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The building in Manhattan where a helicopter crashed

In a tweet, the Federal Aviation Administration said the helicopter was an Agusta A109E, and that it would release the registration after the pilot’s name is confirmed.

It added that the National Transport Safety Board would be in charge of a subsequent investigation into the crash.

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