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Pilot killed as helicopter crashes into Manhattan skyscraper

NEW YORK, USA: The pilot of a helicopter died after it crash-landed on the top of a skyscraper in the city’s most densely populated borough Manhattan on Monday.

The New York City Fire Department (FDNY) rushed to extinguished fire that sparked after the crash and evacuated some workers from the tower.

The accident occurred in wet and foggy conditions. The helicopter crashed into a building on 7th Avenue in New York, killing the pilot on the spot.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) confirmed that the pilot, identified as Tim McCormack, was the only person aboard the twin-engine Agusta A109E helicopter.

The FDNY confirmed on Twitter that they were operating at the scene in Manhattan following a crash landing. Smoke was seen billowing out from the rooftop of the building, but the fire was soon brought under control.

In another tweet, the FDNY said the fire was extinguished and there was only one fatality reported. Security personnel told people to grab their belongings and evacuate the building before the alarms began to blare.

The exact cause of the accident could not be ascertained. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said it “could have been a much worse incident”. “There were no other injuries that we know of at this point in time to anyone in the building or on the ground. Thank God for that,” the mayor said.

“There is no indication at this time that this was an act of terror,” De Blasio said. “And there is no ongoing threat to New York City based on all the information we have right now.”

Meanwhile, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said people who were in the building felt the building shake. He said the incident brought back memories of the September 11 terror attacks at the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan.

Several floors of Midtown Manhattan skyscraper seemed to shake after a helicopter crash-landed on the roof above.

A policeman gestures near fire trucks after a helicopter crash-landed on top of a building in midtown Manhattan in New York on Monday, June 10, 2019. Speaking at the scene, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told reporters there had been “casualties” on board the helicopter, but that no one in the building had been hurt. (Johannes Eisele /AFP/Getty Images/TNS)

The helicopter crash spread panic and it took over 30 minutes for the people to get from the 29th floor down to the ground floor. It was too crowded and everybody was trying to get off on all the floors at the same time.

Many witnesses said the crash brought back memories of the 2001 attack.
Authorities said the aircraft took off from a heliport at Manhattan’s east side at 13:32 and crashed 11 minutes later.

There is no helicopter landing pad on the roof of the AXA Equitable tower at 787 Seventh Avenue where the aircraft crashed.

New York Commissioner James O’Neill told a news conference the helicopter had been engaged in “executive travel” at the time of the crash. The city’s top police officer said the aircraft’s reason for flying in such poor weather would be “part of the investigation”.