1 killed in helicopter crash on roof of Manhattan skyscraper
NEW YORK - One person was killed when a helicopter crashed on the roof of a 54-story building in midtown Manhattan Monday, sparking a fire and drawing a massive emergency response.
It happened shortly before 2 p.m. under rainy conditions at the AXA Equitable building at 787 Seventh Ave. The crash spurred an evacuation as crews raced to the top floor to douse the flames.
Authorities say the pilot killed in the crash was the sole occupant of the helicopter, which was privately owned.
The pilot has been identified as Tim McCormack, of Dutchess County, New York.
No one in the building or on the ground was injured.
The helicopter was owned by an upstate New York man who apparently used it to commute to the city.
The crash happened in a part of the city that is under a flight restriction due to its proximity to Trump Tower. Mayor Bill de Blasio says the helicopter would have needed the approval of LaGuardia Tower before heading there, but it's unclear if that happened.
The mayor says there’s no indication that there is any terrorism linked to the crash, and says there is no ongoing danger to New Yorkers.
City officials say the crash sparked a fuel leak, which has since been mitigated. They say the building is safe, but NYPD and FDNY crews were remaining at the scene as they awaited the arrival of federal investigatory agencies.
"Thank God no other people were injured in this absolutely shocking, stunning incident," said Mayor de Blasio, who lauded emergency crews for their quick response.
The helicopter had taken off from the 134th Street heliport and crashed approximately 11 minutes later.
Video posted to social media appeared to show the helicopter flying erratically ahead of the crash, suddenly plunging in the air before climbing higher.
The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.