The helicopter, a private charter hired for a photo shoot, went down near Gracie Mansion, the mayoral residence. One person, the pilot, freed himself and was rescued by a tugboat, officials said.The helicopter crashed into New York City’s East River Sunday 11th March, and flipped upside down in the water, killing two of the six people aboard and leaving three others in critical condition, officials said.
It was later reported on Monday 12th March by Sky News that the 3 critically injured victims were unable to make it.
The passengers were recovered by police and fire department divers, who had to remove them from tight harnesses while they were upside down, Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said.
“It took awhile for the drivers to get these people out. They worked very quickly as fast as they could,” Nigro said. “It was a great tragedy that we had here.”
Witnesses on a waterfront esplanade near where the aircraft went down said the helicopter was flying noisily, then suddenly dropped into the water and quickly submerged. But the pilot appeared on the surface, holding onto a flotation device as a tugboat and then police boats approached.
“It’s cold water. It was sinking really fast,” Mary Lee, 66, told the New York Post. “By the time we got out here, we couldn’t see it. It was underwater.”
Celia Skyvaril, 23, told the Daily News that she could see a person on what looked like a yellow raft or float screaming and yelling for help.