A helicopter with five people on board crashed into New York’s, East River on Tuesday afternoon, killing a woman. The Bell 206 Jet Ranger went into the river off 34th Street in midtown Manhattan. It’s unclear what happened, but witnesses said it was sputtering and appeared to be in some type of mechanical distress. The weather was clear but a little windy Tuesday. There were a few clouds at 1,066 meters above sea level, well above the typical flying altitude for helicopters.
The pilot and three of the passengers two women and a man survived. The passenger who died, Sonia Marra, 40, of Sydney, Australia, was apparently trapped in the helicopter when it sank in about 40 feet of swift-moving water. Divers pulled her body from the back seat of the wreckage some time after the helicopter went down.
Officials said the passengers were Paul Nicholson, 71, of Portugal; his wife, Harriet Nicholson, 60; her daughter, Ms. Marra, who turned 40 on Sunday; and a friend, Helen Tamaki, 43, who also lives in Sydney.
New York’s Emergency services arrived to see only the helicopter’s skids showing on the surface after the crash just after 3.20pm local time, near East 34th Street. Counter terrorism officers responded first and jumped into the water. Detective Martin Speechley of the NYPD told Sky News that the rescue had been carried out underwater in extremely testing circumstances. “You really can’t see more than a foot or two in front of your face, so most of the recovery effort would have been done by touch,” he said.