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Helicopter Crashes into New York’s East River, Killing 1

October 7, 2011

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October 7, 2011

A sightseeing helicopter plunged into New York City’s East River this past Tuesday, killing a 40-year-old British woman who lived in Sydney, Australia, and badly injuring three more people.

The helicopter, a Bell 206, had taken off from a Manhattan riverside heliport located near the United Nations headquarters, according to The Wall Street Journal. Inside were the 40-year-old victim, who was celebrating her birthday, as well as her 71-year-old stepfather, a 60-year-old woman, and a 43-year-old woman. Both women remain in critical condition at Bellevue hospital.

The victim’s body was rescued from the East River about 90 minutes after the crash.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash and hasn’t yet found any indication of engine failure.

Since 1983 there have been 28 known helicopter accidents in New York and 19 deaths.

This crash has reportedly reignited debate over whether or not to restrict flights over the East River.

"You're talking about the densest population center in the country, very, very tight, narrow corridors and a huge amount of volume," said state Sen. Daniel Squadron. "And even though they're not going over land, that's still a pretty dangerous cocktail."

New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg disagreed with what the Senator was suggesting, saying, “Helicopters are a very safe way to travel. There's three or four deaths in automobile accidents every single week in the city. ... Nobody's suggesting a ban on automobiles."

In a statement released Friday, the crash’s survivors said, “We would like to say a heartfelt thank you to the rescue teams who acted with great courage, and also to hospital staff at Bellevue Hospital Center and the NYPD, for their compassion, kindness and great care."

Read more.

Do you think helicopters should be banned from flying over the East River?

If you or someone you know has had their safety compromised on a commercial or private aircraft, the aviation lawyers at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy can help.

Photo Source: The Telegraph

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