Helicopter crashes into New York City building
A helicopter crash-landed on the roof of a midtown Manhattan building today, sparking a fire and killing one person believed to be the pilot, New York City officials said.
We're wrapping up our live coverage, but keep reading CNN for more details about today's crash.
Here's what we know about the crash:
- What happened: The helicopter took off from the 34th Street heliport at about 1:32 p.m., NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill said. It crashed on the roof of 787 Seventh Ave. about 11 minutes later.
- The pilot was killed: The deceased pilot has been identified as Tim McCormack, according to law enforcement sources. His family has been notified, according to one source. Preliminary information is that only the pilot was on board the Agusta A109E helicopter when it crashed on the roof of the building, FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said.
- It was raining: At the time of the incident, moderate to heavy rain was falling in the city and visibility at Central Park was down to 1.25 miles. Winds were from the east at 9 mph. Based on interviews the NYPD conducted at the 34th Street heliport on Manhattan's east side, the pilot was waiting out the weather but for some reason decided it was okay to go, another law enforcement source told CNN.
- Not an act of terror: Mayor Bill de Blasio said there was no indication that the crash was an act of terror, and he said there were no injuries to anyone in the building or on the ground.
- What President Trump said: Trump tweeted that he had been briefed on the crash. "Phenomenal job by our GREAT First Responders who are currently on the scene. THANK YOU for all you do 24/7/365! The Trump Administration stands ready should you need anything at all," he tweeted.
The pilot who was killed in a helicopter crash in Manhattan today had previously made an emergency landing in 2014, CNN affiliate WABC reported.
In 2014, pilot Tim McCormack made an emergency landing at the West 30th Street heliport when a bird struck the helicopter he was piloting and broke part of the windshield, WABC reported. Six female passengers were in the helicopter. No one was injured in the incident.
In an interview, McCormack cited his 20 years of experience and told WABC he never lost control of the helicopter. His passengers were screaming and crying while he searched for a place to land.
The helicopter was a Bell 407.
The 2014 incident took place at a different heliport than where he took off from today. Today he took off from the heliport on the east side.
What happened today: McCormack was killed today after his took off in a helicopter from the 34th Street heliport at about 1:32 p.m., NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill said. It crashed on the roof of 787 Seventh Ave. about 11 minutes later.
Authorities are investigating the crash.
American Continental Properties, the company that owns the helicopter that crashed in New York City, said pilot Tim McCormack flew for them for the past five years.
In a statement issued by public relations firm Stu Loeser & Co., the company said:
The deceased pilot has been identified as Tim McCormack, according to law enforcement sources.
His family has been notified, according to one source.
Based on interviews the NYPD conducted at the 34th Street heliport on Manhattan’s east side, the pilot was waiting out weather but for whatever reason decided it was OK to go, according to a law enforcement source.
The New York Fire Department has concluded their operations at the site of the helicopter crash in midtown Manhattan.
“The NTSB, the FAA, (and) the New York City Police Department are all on the scene to do their investigation, and our operations have concluded at this time,” said Thomas Richardson, chief of fire operations.
Lt. Adrienne Walsh, one of the department’s first responders, described the roof scene as “a debris field that was on fire” in a news conference.
“So I immediately got on the radio to let command know what we had on the roof so they down below could start sending the appropriate resources up to us on the roof,” she said.
Richardson said high-rise buildings present challenges, but the fire department has ways to work around them.
“So whenever we have a fire in a high rise building — 54 stories, it’s over 700 feet tall — we always have challenges being able to get enough water pressure to get up to the higher levels of the building. We have standard operating procedures to do that. We have fire engines that connect to the standpipe system and supply pressure. We also in this type of building use the manual fire pumps that are in the building … to increase the pressure.”
The first firefighters were on scene within five minutes, and “within half an hour we had water on the fire and most of the fire extinguished,” he said.
Based on interviews the NYPD conducted at the 34th Street heliport on Manhattan’s east side, the pilot was waiting out weather but for whatever reason decided it was OK to go.
The pilot then flew around Battery Park on the southern tip of Manhattan and up the west side of the island.
Somewhere between 40th and 49th streets, the pilot began to veer towards midtown Manhattan before the helicopter ultimately made the crash landing.
President Trump said he's spoken with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo about a helicopter crash in Manhattan.
He said the White House is working closely with New York City and the state of New York.
"There will be a report in a little while as to what happened and why it happened," Trump said.
He noted the pilot of the helicopter had died.