Helicopter Crash Lands On Midtown Manhattan Roof; One Fatality Confirmed
A helicopter has crashed onto the roof of a midtown Manhattan high rise building at 51st Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues, in rainy conditions and what looks to be a forced landing.
The neighborhood, just north of Times Square, is home to various media, entertainment and publishing companies, with some of Broadway’s theaters extending into the area.
The FDNY has confirmed one fatality. Various news sources are reporting the death might be the copter’s pilot, though that has not been confirmed.
Traffic in the area was snarled. No reports of pedestrian injuries have been reported.
The “hard landing,” as Gov. Andrew Cuomo described it, occurred around 2 pm ET. The crash caused a fire, now under control, Cuomo said.
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Some adjacent and nearby buildings apparently have been evacuated. West 51st and West 52nd streets between 6th and 7th avenues have been closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have been notified of the incident. Pence said there are no indications of terrorism. Although Trump Tower is located about six blocks away, the president is at the White House.
Trump tweeted that his administration “stands ready” should first responders need assistance.
Said Cuomo: “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. The fire department believes the fire is under control. There may have been casualties involved in people in the helicopter. 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.”
The crash apparently took place on top of 787 Seventh Avenue, and the 54-story building has been evacuated. The high-rise office building, according to its website, houses a fitness center, a bank branch, restaurants and access to the Rockefeller Center retail center.
Though the Broadway production of Beetlejuice is located at the nearby Winter Garden Theatre, on Broadway between 50th and 51st streets, the show does not have a scheduled performance tonight.
In an address to reporters carried live on cable news, Cuomo said, “If you’re a New Yorker you have a level of PTSD from 9/11 and I remember that morning all too well. So as soon as you hear an aircraft hit a building, I think my mind goes where every New Yorker’s mind goes.”
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