The inevitable has happened – a tourist chopper crashed into the East River this afternoon shortly after taking off from the East 34th Street Heliport. CBS News reports that one person is dead and 4 have been injured.
NY Post: Two survivors could be seen clinging from the chopper’s landing gear as divers swam towards them. Two women were pulled out and taken to Bellevue Hospital. One of the women was taken to the hospital in cardiac arrest.
A third passenger, a man, was taken to NYU Hospital. All three are in critical condition.
A fourth person, also a man, was treated on the pier.
The Bell 206 helicopter crashed at 3:22 p.m. as it tried to land and sank to the bottom upside down within seconds about 20 feet from the East 34th Street Heliport.
“I saw the helicopter in the water and it sank in seconds,” said witness Jill Rivera.
The private chopper is owned by Paul Dudley, who was piloting the chopper when it crashed, sources said.
Tourist helicopters have long been an issue for Brooklyn Heights residents. Over the last few years, the Brooklyn Heights Association, this blog and our elected officials have voiced concern over chopper noise and safety. For many of those against the tourist flights, the safety of those on board the helos as well as that of those on the ground was of paramount concern.
Our thoughts are with the victims of today’s accident and their families.