A HELICOPTER carrying six passengers crashed into New York City’s East River overnight, killing five passengers.
Two of the five passengers died at the scene and three were taken to local hospitals where they later died, confirmed the New York City Police.
A spokesman from the police force said that the pilot managed to free himself and was rescued. He was later discharged from hospital in good condition.
Video taken by a bystander and posted on Twitter showed the helicopter land hard in the water before capsizing with its rotors slapping at the water.
The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed that the Eurocopter AS350 went down near the northern end of Roosevelt Island at about 7 pm local time.
The helicopter is believed to be a private charter hired for a photo shoot.
According to New York Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro, by the time divers were able to reach the helicopter, it was inverted in 15 metres of water with 4C water temperatures and 6km/h currents.
The passengers were tightly harnessed and the harnesses had to be cut and removed to free them.
The investigative team for the National Transportation Safety Board is due to arrive at the scene today.
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) March 12, 2018