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At least 2 dead in New York river helicopter crash

AFP  |  New York 

At least two people have died when the helicopter they were riding in crashed into Manhattan's East River, officials said.

The red chopper, owned by group Liberty and carrying six people including the pilot, fell into the river near the upscale Upper East Side neighborhood around 90th Street shortly after 7:00 pm (2300 GMT) at the end of a sunny day.

"The pilot freed himself, the other five did not," told reporters during a brief press conference.

"We are told the five people were all tied tightly in harnesses that had to be cut and removed."

Divers rushed to the scene and freed the passengers, two of whom were pronounced dead, amid strong currents and frigid temperatures, Nigro added.

The other three were taken to hospital in critical condition.

Liberty organizes aerial tours of America's financial capital. James O'Neill said the aircraft had been leased by photographers.

1 television, citing police sources, reported that five of the six people flying in the helicopter had died, with only the pilot surviving.

The cause of the accident was not immediately clear, but indicated the pilot had sent a distress signal that mentioned an engine problem shortly before the crash.

The is investigating the incident.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, March 12 2018. 08:30 IST