Helicopter crashes into New York City building
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and other city officials just held a news conference to give an update about today's helicopter crash.
They confirmed that one person, presumed to be the pilot was killed and said that there is no indication that the crash was terror-related.
But there are still a lot of things we don't know right now:
- Why did the helicopter crash? Officials said the investigation into the cause of the crash is ongoing.
- Who was killed in the crash? While officials said the one victim of the crash is presumed to be the pilot, they did not identify him or her.
- Why was the helicopter in the area? New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio pointed out that aircraft are not allowed in the area where the helicopter crashed without approval from the LaGuardia Airport tower. It's not clear why this helicopter was flying over Midtown Manhattan.
- Why was the helicopter flying in weather like this? It's rainy and overcast in New York today. Asked by a reporter why the helicopter was out, New York City Police Commissioner James O’Neill said, "We are not sure. That is part of the investigation."
The helicopter that crashed into a Manhattan building was only in the air for 11 minutes, officials said.
"At approximately 1:32 this afternoon, the helicopter took off at the 34th Street heliport and about 11 minutes later crashed across the street from where we are now," Police Commissioner James O'Neill said at a news conference.
O'Neill said the first 911 calls came in at 1:43 p.m. ET and reported a crash and a fire on top of a 54-story office building on 7th Avenue.
Officials said several agencies are working together to figure out why the helicopter was in the area, and what went wrong.
New York authorities have preliminarily identified the pilot who died in Monday’s helicopter crash.
“We have him preliminarily identified, but it’s not confirmed yet. Plus we’re looking out for his family too,” NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said in a news conference.
Asked if the pilot made a stress call from the helicopter, O'Neill said, "That’s part of the investigation – to see if there was any contact made with air traffic control.”
The building involved in the helicopter crash did not have a landing pad, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told CNN.
"Helicopters have not been landing on buildings in Manhattan for decades," he said. "There was a horrible crash in what was the Pan Am building some years ago and it was banned after that. And in fact, a helicopter should not in this area of Manhattan without the approve of LaGuardia Airport tower."
De Blasio added that the helicopter shouldn't have been in the area especially because of Trump Tower.
The mayor said the aircraft was flown by a "commercial pilot."
"This is someone who's been doing this work for a while. Apparently was an executive helicopter used to ferry around executives," de Blasio said.
The building where a helicopter crashed this afternoon is owned by CALPERS, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, according to a tweet by the agency.
"We are aware of the helicopter crash in New York City involving a building in our real estate portfolio," CALPERS tweeted.
According to the CALPERS website, they manage the largest public pension fund in the US.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said there is no indication that today's helicopter crash is terror related.
“There is no indication at this time that this was an act of terror and there is no ongoing threat to New York City," he said.
Later he again stressed: "We have no indication that there was any terror nexus here."
Mayor Bill de Blasio said there were no other injuries to anyone in the building and on the ground.