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Five dead in New York river helicopter crash

A helicopter is hoisted by crane from the East River onto a barge, March 12, 2018, in New York. The pilot was able to escape the Sunday night crash after the aircraft flipped upside down in the water killing several passengers, officials said. (Photo: Mark Lennihan/AP)

Five dead in New York river helicopter crash

Investigators recovered a flight data recorder and a GoPro camera as they tried to determine the cause of a deadly helicopter crash in the East River and figure out whether passengers’ harnesses hindered their escape from the sinking aircraft. The helicopter’s five passengers drowned when it touched down in the river and capsized, medical examiners said. The pilot escaped.

The NTSB said the aircraft had been flying about 2,000 feet (609 meters) over New York on a scheduled 30-minute flight when the pilot sent out a mayday call saying his engine had failed.

After the helicopter made a hard landing in the water, it tipped over and was carried upside-down in the fast river current while police and fire department divers tried to free the passengers from their safety harnesses. Two victims died in the water. Three more were pronounced dead after several hours of treatment at a hospital.

NTSB investigators said electronic devices recovered from the helicopter or from the victims, including the GoPro camera and data recorder, were being sent to laboratories in Washington. Officials also were examining the restraint systems. (AP)

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