Five killed in NYC chopper crash

Emergency vehicles involved in rescue of downed helicopter in the East River

The five passengers trapped in a helicopter that ditched into the East River off NY on Sunday night may have died because they were wearing hard-to-remove harnesses.

It emerged Monday that cameraman Trevor had moved to NY for an internship at Business Insider last October. The pilot was able to escape moments after the crash. REUTERS/Darren Ornitz Paramedics and members of the NYFD perform CPR on a victim of a helicopter crash in NY, U.S., March 11, 2018.

The helicopter crashed into the East River off Manhattan on Sunday killing all five passengers on board, police have confirmed.

The pilot of the Liberty Helicopters" flight has been taken to hospital "for observation'.

The charter helicopter was hired for a photo shoot. Rescue divers had to cut the victims out of their harnesses underwater.

The pilot was able to free himself and was rescued by a tugboat.

Fire Rescue Officer, Brian McDaniel June 12, 1991 - March 11, 2018 Hired: May 2016 Assigned to Fire Station 36, C-Shift Monday, March 12, 2018, Dallas Fire-Rescue received confirmation that one of its own, Fire-Rescue Officer, Brian McDaniel, tragically lost his life in a helicopter crash while on vacation in NY.

The cause of the crash is unknown.

All passengers were wearing inflatable life vests, and the pilot said she deployed pop-out floats, the National Transportation Safety Board said.

Video taken by a bystander and posted on Twitter shows a red helicopter land hard in the water and then tip over as its rotors slap at the water. Although divers rushed to try and save the passengers, it took a long time to pull their bodies out of the water because they were strapped in special harnesses that allowed them to take photos of their view from the helicopter while the doors were open.

"It's cold water. It was sinking really fast", Lee said. "We had talked about, once he got back from his trip, meeting up for beers and just catching up", said Nevitt.

The weather was calm at the time of the crash, with clear skies and winds at 16 to 19 km per hour, and a visibility of 16 km.

"East River - engine failure", he added. "East River engine failure!" After hitting the water, the helicopter tipped over and flipped upside down, the witnesses described.

It was owned by New Jersey-based Liberty Helicopters, which claims on its website of being "the largest and most experienced helicopter sightseeing and charter service in the Northeast". "I believe this is a wonderful way to experience the city, to experience the world, and I know from 20 years from covering the aviation industry how safe it is, and this was a very rare day for aviation in general", Adams said.

Commercial helicopters typically have the switch in case the engine catches fire, according to Jeremy Conley, a flight instructor at Helicopter Flight Training Inc in Ronkonkoma, New York.

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