Authorities identify 5 victims killed in NYC helicopter crash

Authorities identify 5 victims killed in NYC helicopter crash

A helicopter is seen crashed in New York City's East River Thomson Reuters NEW YORK (Reuters) - Federal investigators headed to New York City on Monday to determine what caused a helicopter to crash into the frigid waters of the East River, killing all five passengers aboard, with only the pilot surviving.

In a radio transmission released after the crash, the pilot can be heard saying "Mayday, mayday, mayday" and "East River engine failure".

Eric Phillips, a spokesman for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, confirmed two passengers died and one other was rescued.

Cadigan, who has a degree in journalism from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, had recently moved to NY to begin a career with Business Insider, according to ABC station WFAA-TV in Dallas.

The sight-seeing helicopter went down in the East River with six people including the pilot, CNN reported.

A law enforcement official told The New York Times that Thompson worked for the helicopter tour company that operated the aircraft. He is the sole survivor of the crash in the East River.

Argentina's NY consulate said Monday that Carla Vallejos Blanco was one of the victims in the crash Sunday night.

The official also says the National Transportation Safety Board is looking closely at why an emergency flotation device on the helicopter apparently did not deploy properly. A bystander's video showed the helicopter land hard and then capsize in water about 50 feet deep.

The aircraft was owned by Liberty Helicopters, a company that offers both private charters and sightseeing tours popular with tourists. He was on vacation in NY with a friend.

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Vance escaped the crash moments after impact, but the five passengers were trapped inside, unable to escape from their safety harnesses as the helicopter flipped and sank, police said.

The NTSB will likely look at three things: the pilot's training, experience and immediate response during the crash; what, if anything, on the helicopter caused the crash; and what environmental factors may have contributed to the crash, said Gary C. Robb, an aviation attorney based in Missouri.

The National Transport Safety Board was leading the investigation into the crash. The Argentine consulate said her family is working with the New York City medical examiner to bring her body back to Argentina.

The NTSB says its new investigation will include an examination of the company's record.

Video footage showed the Liberty chopper careening into the water shortly after 7 p.m. with its propellers still spinning. Owner Liberty Helicopters is referring all inquiries to investigators.

The five passengers were all strapped into the aircraft with special harnesses that allowed them to lean out of the helicopter doors to take pictures.

"The helicopter reportedly is inverted in the water".

Eight people were onboard, but no one was seriously hurt. "Incidents" can include events that end in safe landings, but an August 2009 collision over the Hudson River between a Liberty chopper and a small, private plane killed nine people, including a group of Italian tourists.

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