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All five passengers killed in NYC helicopter crash

Updated: 2018-03-12 09:56
A helicopter is seen crashed in New York City's East River March 11, 2018 in this picture obtained from social media. [Photo/Agencies]

NEW YORK — A helicopter carrying six people crashed in New York City's East River on Sunday, killing all passengers, while the pilot escaped, police said.

Two of the five passengers died at the scene and three were taken to two area hospitals where they later died, a spokesman for the New York City Police spokesman confirmed early Monday.

The pilot freed himself and was rescued and was treated and released in good condition from a hospital, police said.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the Eurocopter AS350 went down near the northern end of Roosevelt Island at about 7 pm and was investigating. The National Transportation Safety Board said its investigative team would arrive on Monday.

"It's a great tragedy," said New York Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro at a press conference late Sunday. "It took a while for the divers to get these people out."

Nigro said when the divers reached the helicopter it was inverted and in 50 feet of water with below 40-degree Fahrenheit water temperatures and four-mile-an hour currents.

The passengers were tightly harnessed and the harnesses had to be cut and removed to free the passengers in the helicopter, he added.

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