A helicopter crashed into the top of a skyscraper in New York City on Tuesday afternoon, evoking still raw emotions in a city that was still on edge following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks nearly two decades ago. The midtown Manhattan building is located at 787 Seventh Avenue and the crash took place around 2 p.m. EDT.
CNN reported on live TV that at least one person has died, but there was no immediate indication that it could be terror-related.
BNO News tweeted video footage of what it said showed the helicopter flying “erratically” shortly before it crashed.
According to the Associated Press, the person who died was the helicopter’s pilot and it did not appear that anyone else was on board.
“Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters that a fire began when the aircraft hit, but it is under control,” the AP reported. “Cuomo said it shook the building. He said there are no reports of injuries of people in the tower.”
The New York Times reported that Cuomo also made a reference to the past terrorism that has happened in New York City.
“If you’re a New Yorker, you have a level of P.T.S.D., right, from 9/11,’’ Cuomo said. “I remember that morning all too well.”
Witnesses said they were startled by the crash.
“We heard an explosion — it sounded like a manhole cover had exploded,’’ Andrew Heath, who was working inside the building where the helicopter crashed, told the Times. “I heard and felt it. It was like a thud. I was wondering if a really heavy truck was driving by, but it was a little too much.’’
About 100 fire and emergency response units were on the building, also called the AXA Equitable Center, between 51st and 52nd Streets. The skyscraper that was built in 1985 has 51 stories and stands 752 feet tall.
“The helicopter made a hard landing onto the roof of the building, said a fire official,” ABC News reported about the cause of the crash.
It was unclear if the weather was a factor, but it’s been steadily raining in the city since late morning.
It was also unclear whether the helicopter was owned by the city or if it was related to tourism.