A helicopter crashed into a New York City high rise on the afternoon of Monday, June 10, according to The New York Times, resulting in a two-alarm fire. The paper reported that the helicopter crashed into 787 Seventh Avenue at 51st Street, in midtown Manhattan.
The New York City Fire Department told the Times that over 100 emergency responders were sent to the scene, and a police official stated that the incident was characterized as a hard landing. Per a senior city official's comment to the Times, just one person was aboard the plane — the pilot — who was reportedly killed in the crash. The pilot's identity has not yet been announced.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, Police Commissioner James P. O'Neill, and Fire Comissioner Daniel A. Nigro, addressed the media in a press conference in front of the building later Monday afternoon. They announced there was one confirmed death, but the cause of the crash was pending further investigation.
A NBC News reporter at the scene tweeted that officials have confirmed that one person was injured from the crash, although it's unclear if that was in reference to the pilot or someone else. The reporter also said that authorities do not believe that a criminal component was involved in the accident.
“The preliminary information is that there was a helicopter that made a forced landing, emergency landing or landed on the roof of the building,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told CBS News on Monday afternoon. Cuomo also echoed NBC News, saying that there was no indication that the incident was related to terrorism.
Reports from people working inside the building say that when the helicopter made impact, they could feel the building shake, and immediately evacuated. "So a helicopter hit the building I work in," said writer Jason Diamond on Twitter. "We had to rush down 48 floors but we’re ok. I hope everybody else is."
Shortly after the crash, President Donald Trump tweeted about the incident, thanking the many first responders and law enforcement who arrived at the scene. "I have been briefed on the helicopter crash in New York City," the president wrote. "Phenomenal job by our GREAT First Responders who are currently on the scene. THANK YOU for all you do 24/7/365! The Trump Administration stands ready should you need anything at all."
Video of before the helicopter landed in Midtown, captured by Wendy Slater, shows the aircraft dipping and diving erratically above Manhattan.
Traffic in the area is still being diverted, and law enforcement is only allowing emergency personnel near the building. The FAA released a statement regarding the crash, detailing that the accident occurred at around 1:45 p.m. and that "FAA air traffic controllers did not handle the flight."
According to the FAA, the aircraft was a AugustaWestland AW109, a small helicopter that can fit up to eight passengers. According to the manufacturer's website, it "can fly from critically situated landing spots in adverse climates and from roof helipads in densely populated areas."
The crash occurred on a day with rainy weather; ABC News reports that both LaGuardia and Newark airports are experiencing delays on Monday, due to weather and thunderstorms in the area.