NEW YORK — The pilot of the helicopter that crash landed on top of a Manhattan building was killed Monday, authorities said.
The helicopter made an emergency landing onto the roof of a building on 7th Avenue near 51st in New York just before 2 p.m., authorities said. The crash caused a fire at the building, located at 787 7th Avenue, which was extinguished by 2:20 p.m., police said.
Nobody in the building or on the ground was injured, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said during a press conference Monday.
“This could’ve been a much worse incident,” de Blasio said.
The helicopter was identified as an Agusta A109E helicopter, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement. Based on the preliminary information, the FAA believes the pilot was the only person on board.
The helicopter took off from the 34th street heliport, James O’Neill, the New York Police Commissioner said in a press conference. Atlantic Aviation, which manages the heliport, declined to comment when reached by phone.
The National Transportation Safety Board will be in charge of the investigation, the FAA said.
In a press conference near the building, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that the crash would likely stir up memories of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack.
“If you’re a New Yorker, you have a level of PTSD, right, from 9/11,” said Cuomo. “And I remember that morning all too well.”
Cuomo said there is no indication that the crash was an act of terrorism.
“At this point, there is no indication that that is the case,” Cuomo said at the scene. “The only indication was that a helicopter had to do an emergency or a hard landing or crashed onto the rooftop of the building, causing a fire.”
The building management office of Commonwealth Partners, which owns the building, declined to comment when reached by phone. When reached by phone, Brian Tolbert, the downtown heliport manager, also declined to comment.
Rain poured down on the throng of panicked people who had evacuated the building and curious onlookers. One 28-year-old man who works in the building was in the basement at the time of the crash. From the basement, he didn’t feel the impact.
“I heard walkie talkies going off telling everybody to evacuate,” the unidentified man said. “I left all my things down there. I can’t even go home, I left my house keys in there.”
- Per: CBS