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Five killed in New York helicopter crash, pilot survives

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New York: Yellow flotation devices mark the area where wreckage of a chartered helicopter crashed into the river and submerged.—Reuters
New York: Yellow flotation devices mark the area where wreckage of a chartered helicopter crashed into the river and submerged.—Reuters

NEW YORK: All five passengers, except the pilot, were killed when a helicopter crashed in the East river of New York city’s east harbour side.

No known cause was immediately given other than the surviving pilot’s version that it could have been caused by a piece of passengers’ luggage.

The pilot said one of the passenger’s bags might have inadvertently hit the emergency fuel shutoff button, leading to the crash that killed five passengers, a senior law enforcement official said.

A police source identified the pilot as 33-year-old Richard Vance.

In an audio recording of a mayday call to LaGuardia Airport, the pilot said the helicopter was experiencing engine failure, a news report said.

When emergency workers responded, the helicopter was upside down and submerged, authorities said.

Police called for a barge with a crane to pull the chopper out of the water near 23rd Street.

Published in Dawn, March 13th, 2018