Argentine among 5 killed in NYC helicopter crash


The five passengers trapped in a helicopter that ditched into the East River off NY on Sunday night may have died because they were wearing hard-to-remove harnesses.

A police source told the New York Daily News that the other three victims were Carla Vallejos Blanco, a tourist from Argentina, and two helicopter employees, Tristan Hill and Daniel Thompson. He was identified as 33-year-old Richard Vance of Danbury, Connecticut, and was treated and released from New York Presbyterian Hospital.

NY officials said the charter helicopter was hired for a photo shoot.

All five passengers aboard the Liberty Helicopters chopper were killed in the crash.

The pilot was heard on an emergency radio transmission saying there was an engine failure.

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The pilot survived after freeing himself from his safety harness, but all five passengers perished.

NTSB Go Team, led by Board Member Bella Dinh-Zarr, are enroute to NYC for investigation of March 11, 2018, helicopter crash in East River. McDaniel flashed a thumbs up.

Two of those who died were pronounced dead at the scene, Nigro said. Videos captured by witnesses show the helicopter descending quickly, capsizing and tilting onto its side, its rotor blades still spinning in the water.

The helicopter belonged to Liberty Helicopters, a company based in New York City that specializes in aerial tours and contracting for photography. 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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A video taken by a bystander shows the helicopter crash into the East River.

The official said the National Transportation Safety Board also is scrutinizing why an emergency flotation device apparently didn't deploy properly when the tour helicopter went down in the East River.

"It's cold water", witness Mary Lee told the New York Post. He is the sole survivor of the crash in the East River.

Two years earlier, another of its helicopters crashed in the Hudson River, though all of the people aboard survived.

A senior law enforcement official told CNN that Vance believed one of the passengers' bags may have accidentally struck the chopper's emergency fuel shutoff button, which could have led to the crash, something that was not confirmed nor addressed by Dinh-Zarr. One injured eight people including some banking executives.

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Police and divers braved the 50-foot-deep river, which was about 40 degrees Fahrenheit and moving at a speed of 4 miles per hour on Sunday night.