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5 Dead in NYC East River Helicopter Crash

Five people were killed in a helicopter crash in New York City’s East River on Sunday night, according to CNN. The pilot of the helicopter was reported as the sole survivor.

The helicopter, a Eurocopter AS350, went down near Roosevelt Island around 7 p.m. according to a tweet posted by the FAA shortly after the incident.

A follow-up tweet noted that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is working to determine probable cause for the incident.

The helicopter is owned by Liberty Helicopter Tours and was out for a photo shoot at the time of the crash, according to CBS New York. The same company has had two previous crashes in the Hudson River, one in 2007 and another in 2009.

The NTSB sent 14 responders to the scene and dozens of police, fire and EMS responders also arrived to assist. When they arrived, the helicopter was upside down and submerged and a barge with a crane was called to the scene to pull the helicopter out of the water around 23rd Street, CNN reported. The five passengers who were killed in the crash were found to have been tightly harnessed in their seats while the pilot was able to free himself.

Audio recordings from the mayday call during the crash to LaGuardia airport included a warning that the engine was experiencing failure before the helicopter went down, according to CNN.

The NTSB tweeted that they would be on the scene Monday morning to begin investigating the incident.

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