5 Dead After Passenger's Bag May Have Caused Helicopter to Crash into New York City’s River

March 12, 2018

As more details have emerged, reports are showing that five passengers have died from the helicopter crash late Sunday night. The five passengers were confirmed dead early Monday morning. Previous reports from last night were stating at least two people had died. 




The pilot was able to free himself and was rescued by a tugboat. The helicopter was recovered and towed to the nearest pier.


According to Fox News, a passenger's bag may have been the cause of the crash. According to the pilot, the bag inadvertently hit the emergency fuel shutoff button.




"Mayday, mayday, mayday," Richard Vance, the 33-year-old pilot, yelled over the radio. "East River engine failure!"


The group was part of the New Jersey Liberty Helicopters tour. The charter was a private flight for a photo shoot for one woman and four men. When the chopper went down, passengers were immediately submerged in icy waters with the air temperature of about 40 degrees.




“It took awhile for the divers to get these people out. They worked very quickly as fast as they could,” Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said. “It was a great tragedy that we had here.”




According to the "Daily News," Trevor Cadigan, who was a 26-year-old video journalist for the "Business Insider," took a video just before the helicopter took off.



The other passenger's on the fatal flight were Carla Vallejos Blanco, a tourist from Argentina, Brian McDaniel, a firefighter from Dallas, Texas, and two other helicopter employees, Daniel Thomason and Tristan Hill.



Sunday's crash was the third incident in the past 11 years for Liberty Helicopters. In 2007, a sightseeing chopper carrying eight passengers crashed into the Hudson River. One of the passengers was an off-duty paramedic and was able to rescue everyone on board. 

In 2009, another sightseeing helicopter collided with small, private plane over the Hudson River killing nine people. 


Please keep everyone in your prayers as details unfold.

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