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Helicopter crash in Manhattan, New York: what we know

The Fire Department is reporting that one person has died in what is believed to have been a “hard landing.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo walks near the scene where a helicopter crashed on top of a building in midtown Manhattan June 10, 2019, in New York.
Mark Lennihan/AP
Jen Kirby is a senior foreign and national security reporter at Vox, where she covers global instability.

This post is no longer being updated as of Tuesday morning.

A pilot was killed when a helicopter crash-landed onto the roof of a high-rise building in midtown Manhattan on Monday afternoon, according to New York City Fire Department officials.

The helicopter crashed onto the roof of the 51-story AXA Equitable Center office building at 787 Seventh Avenue, near 51st Street. According to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, it’s not clear whether the helicopter crashed or attempted to make an emergency landing on the roof of the building. Officials said it did not appear to be terrorism-related.

A fire broke out but was quickly extinguished, according to the New York City Police Department.

Officials still have not confirmed what prompted the helicopter’s hard landing. Here’s what we know and don’t know.

What we know

  • Shortly before 2 pm, a helicopter crash-landed onto the roof of a 51-story building in midtown Manhattan, located at 787 Seventh Avenue, according to Fire Department officials.
  • A fire broke out on the roof after the incident, but it has been extinguished, according to the police.
  • New York City Police Department officials described it as “hard landing.” Gov. Cuomo told reporters on Tuesday that the helicopter may have crashed while attempting to make an emergency landing on the building, though the circumstances are still unclear. There is no helipad on top of the building.
  • New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said at an afternoon press conference that “there is no indication that this was an act of terror.” The weather in New York on Monday was rainy and cloudy, but it’s not yet clear if weather- or visibility-related issues prompted the crash landing.
  • The FDNY has confirmed one fatality, that of the pilot steering the helicopter. Sources identified the pilot to NBC News and the New York Times as Tim McCormack, who flew the helicopter for a real estate company. The helicopter was based in Linden, New Jersey.
  • The building was evacuated after the crash, and police and fire officials are still investigating the cause. The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are also assisting, according to NBC News.
  • The helicopter took off from a helipad on East 34th Street in Manhattan, but it’s still not clear how it ended up in midtown Manhattan. There is a temporary flight restriction in the area, which is not far from Trump Tower in New York City. De Blasio said at an afternoon press conference that the pilot would have needed approval to fly into this zone, something officials have not yet confirmed.

What we don’t know

  • The cause of the crash landing
  • Why the helicopter was flying in this area of midtown Manhattan