Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 23 October 2019

New York City: Helicopter makes crash landing on to high-rise building

The city's fire department says one death has been reported

A helicopter made a crash landing on top of a high-rise building in New York City on Monday afternoon, killing the pilot.

He has has been identified as Tim McCormack and was the only person on board the aircraft, the Federal Aviation Administration said. There were no other reports of injuries.

Staff in the 54-storey skyscraper were moved to safety, said a spokesman for BNP Parisbas, which has an office in the building.

It was not clear what caused the crash or why the Agusta A109E was flying in driving rain with low cloud cover and in the tightly controlled airspace of midtown Manhattan.

The building shook from the impact, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said, adding that the city was still suffering from post-traumatic stress after the 9/11 terror attack.

"A helicopter had to do an emergency, or a hard landing, or crashed on to the rooftop of a building, causing a fire," Mr Cuomo said. "There's no indication of anything more than that."

Witnesses said the flames could be seen on the roof of the building.

New York City's police and fire departments warned people to avoid the area of West 51st and 7th Avenue.

"[Fire department] members are operating on scene at 787 Seventh Avenue in Manhattan. Helicopter crash landing," the department confirmed on Twitter.

Police later said the fire had been extinguished.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio described the helicopter as being "obliterated" and said that there was no indication that the crash landing was an act of terrorism.

“There’s something mysterious here,” Mr De Blasio told CNN, saying officials were scrutinizing video of a “very erratic” flight and authorities needed to find out more about the pilot at the time he decided to take off.

US President Donald Trump has been informed of the crash landing and continues to monitor the situation, White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said.

The building is less than a kilometre from Trump Tower and airspace has been under a flight restriction since he became president.

Updated: June 11, 2019 03:10 PM

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