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Former Fire Chief Killed in Manhattan Helicopter Crash

Helicopter crashed on the roof of a high-rise minutes after takeoff

 

New York City Police and Fire Department personnel secure the scene in front of a building in midtown Manhattan where a helicopter crash landed, Monday, June 10, 2019. The Fire Department says the helicopter crash-landed on the top of the tower, which isn’t far from Rockefeller Center and Times Square. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

 

By JIM MUSTIAN and JENNIFER PELTZ Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — A helicopter crashed on the roof of a rain-shrouded midtown Manhattan skyscraper Monday, killing the pilot and briefly triggering memories of 9/11, after an erratic trip across some of the nation’s most restricted airspace. Authorities said they did not suspect terrorism.

The crash near Times Square and Trump Tower shook the 750-foot (229-meter) AXA Equitable building, sparked a fire, and forced office workers to flee on elevators and down stairs, witnesses and officials said.

The pilot was the only person aboard, and there were no other reports of injuries, authorities said.

It was not immediately clear what caused the crash, or why the Agusta A109E was flying in a driving downpour with low cloud cover and in the tightly controlled airspace of midtown Manhattan. A flight restriction in effect since President Donald Trump took office bans aircraft from flying below 3,000 feet (914 meters) within a 1-mile (1.6-kilometer) radius of Trump Tower, which is less than a half-mile (0.8 kilometers) from the crash site.

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