Five Dead In NYC Helicopter Crash

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A young news reporter, a firefighter and a tourist from Argentina were among the five passengers who died in a helicopter crash in New York's East River on Sunday night.

McDaniel had been with the Dallas Fire-Rescue Department since May 2016.

The pilot, who was the only survivor, is identified as 33-year-old Richard Vance of Danbury, Connecticut, according to sources familiar with the investigation.

A law enforcement official told The New York Times that Thompson worked for the helicopter tour company that operated the aircraft.

Eric Adams, an aviation writer who was riding in a different helicopter, told The Washington Post the harnesses strapping passengers in were attached in a way that would not allow them to get free on their own.

"Mayday, mayday, mayday", he said in an emergency radio call as the aircraft foundered.

The pilot may have gotten himself free because he knew what to do in that situation, ABC News reported.

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@cnn @FoxNews just witnessed a helicopter crash into the East River. hope everyone's ok.

Robb said the NTSB would then release a preliminary report, and a probable-cause accident report would follow detailing what happened during the crash.

John Dellaportas, president of a group that has advocated for restrictions on helicopter flights around the city, said safety of the flights is a major issue.

Two of the passengers were pronounced dead in the initial hours after the crash; three others died later at a hospital.

The Eurocopter AS350 helicopter went down about 7 the water near New York's mayoral residence.

US Sen. Chuck Schumer of NY is expected to call for the FAA to suspend Liberty Helicopters' FAA operating certificate until their safety record and this crash are fully assessed, according to a press release from his office.

A video posted online appeared to show the red helicopter descending into the water, its spinning blades chopping the river as it tipped over. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident and is slated to provide an update on the crash late Monday afternoon.

The pilot who survived a helicopter crash that killed his five passengers told investigators he believed a passenger's bag might have hit an emergency fuel shutoff switch in the moments before the chopper went down, a federal official told The Associated Press on Monday. Meanwhile in 2007 one of their choppers crashed into the Hudson River. In June 2005, two helicopters crashed into the East River in the same week. The other hit the water shortly after takeoff on a sightseeing flight, injuring six tourists and the pilot. One injured eight people including some banking executives.

New York Police Department Commissioner James O'Neill said there were "dozens of calls" to emergency services reporting the incident, which was also caught on video.