Helicopter crashes onto roof of New York City building, pilot killed

No one else was injured, according to city officials.
14:49 | 06/10/19

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Transcript for Helicopter crashes onto roof of New York City building, pilot killed
This is an ABC news special room. Now report. Do you did you. Good afternoon we get home and I'm here with breaking news at this hour the FAA has confirmed a crash landing on the top of the building in midtown Manhattan a helicopter. We've been monitoring developments for some time and decided to come on the air because we have more facts at this hour. But that helicopter it's unclear whether or not it was a crash landing or a hard landing though. The distinction is mood at this point because what we do know is when the helicopter came down on top of that building. At 51 and seventh avenue here in New York 7877. Avenue is the exact. Address that we know that when that helicopter came down there was a fire that followed. Our station here in New York WABC TV is reporting at this hour that there is one dead though ABC news has not. But independently confirm that ad as of this point a Governor Cuomo moments ago talking about that fire on top of the building saying that for the most part it has been contained. It's believed that fire though might be out now at this point let's take a listen to governor just moments ago. This is if you're brave a New Yorkers you'll. A lovely looking he has the right mind. And I remember that. Here in airfare for the building. I think my mind goes for every. But at this point there's no indication at this point there is no there is no indicate. That that is the case. The only indication. A helicopter had been. Heartland. Grass. To the rooftop of the building causing a fire but there's no indication of anything more than that again this is old very preliminary. And these situations evolve very quickly as we know. But that's all we know what this morning seven I thank you. Governor Andrew Cuomo here in midtown Manhattan just moments ago and of course everyone's mind immediately goes to the possibility of terror especially when we're talking about aircraft to New York City that you've heard the governor their say that there is no indication. Of any kind at this hour that terrorism was at play but you can see the weather. That's going to be a major factor obviously in the questions that begin to mount over this crash about why a helicopter perhaps was flying it's been. A windswept rainy day here in New York City the fog in the skies over midtown Manhattan and it's believed that helicopter came down it's in. Anderson to point out that there are not hell of pads on the top. Tops of buildings here in New York City we do know there're two hello ports on each side of the island of Manhattan both on the East River. And on the Hudson River but it's believed that that there are not held a pass for precisely this reason on top of buildings that would lead. You believe that this helicopter was in trouble of some kind when it was forced to make that. Either crash landing or hard landing on top of the building of course we do not know what led the pilot to do that. But it's unclear how many people were on board the helicopter though as I mentioned at the top of the special report WABC. A channel seven here in New York is reporting at least one dead we had heard earlier. The least one casualty. That could be either obviously an injury or death though ABC news now can confirm one person at least one person. Has died in this helicopter accident. On the top of 7877. Avenue that's a high rise building here in midtown Manhattan that not far from where we are. Eddie BC's headquarters were in the sixties here for those of you know Manhattan I do want to get did you but he does. Who's on the scene for us to describe the picture in GO as I was saying just a moment ago the weather here in New York it's always. Considered one of the first questions about how large of the factory could have played in this. And as hard landing atop that building. Absolutely gave in fact I'm looking up that's these sky risers right now at the thyroid does and I cannot see. The top of some of that that is how bad this market. So no doubt that question why was that helicopter work even flying to begin with that's going to be something a lot in order to be asked if he investigator going to be looking at that. As you know David because of very very clear the area you're New York City and looking at Broadway theaters around us. We have just go out every law enforcement agency here in the city. They are out here because they are short did not know what exactly pistols about and they were rushing from all over turnout I was walking. From about midtown Manhattan and another part of but Times Square and I could just tell you that although he's ambulances were rushing from all over the Kuwait. No doubt about it before going to be. Looking at you don't why what what what was happening with the helicopter. Q you mentioned he couldn't see the tops of the buildings in that part of midtown simply because the fog. The rain here in New York City but any signs of the fire that was reported early on there there are. Conflicting reports about whether or not it's been completely extinguished at this point what can you see as far as that's concerned. I mean it is just totally white Dave it impact I think I can see the building worker happened the cook a a commercial building I think I concede that building but I cannot see past that bought it and that is just. How Clark either that is just died of total wiped. But it was a be watching this is ABC news live coverage of a helicopter accident a deadly helicopter accident here in Manhattan. Within the last hour in midtown Manhattan the corner of 51 and seventh avenue. But here in New York City it's believed that helicopter encountered obviously some sort of trouble as it was flying over the city. Was forced to make some sort of hard landing as it's been described a crash landing described by others at the FAA on top of that building. A high rise building here in new York and colonel Jan neared Stephen get your. Who obviously has logged over 4200 career flight hours and different tactical aircraft along the way. Steve when you hear about a helicopter making a landing on a building without a hello pad in the middle of these. Conditions. If it's spells trouble. It does dividend and I'm just thinking about what the potential situations could have been here if the helicopter had a problem -- airborne and the pilot was looking to make an emergency landing perhaps he thought it won't be safer to land on top of this building that it would be say on a busy crowded Manhattan street maybe that's what what went on here for a couple things to think about most of the helicopters that wire around Manhattan are very light helicopters don't have a lot of gaps don't a lot of weight. So it doesn't have the same potential to bring a building doubt say the way it's fixed wing airplane might it doesn't it would inject had to build this same force wouldn't have. But also was not quite as serious as something which he may get a fixed wing aircraft. Tried to or get shipped the building Manhattan. And of course we don't want to second guess colonel tenured the decisions that remain in that aircraft because we don't know simply what that aircraft encountered other than we do know expand. A very rainy and somewhat windy at times stay here in New York City the colonel Dan you're. What is coral call when you're flying over a city of this population but the number of buildings we have in this building. In an emergency situation we do know that buildings in the area including the building of course in question were being evacuated. Yet they did it say it comes down to a pilot's decision and and and most pilots want to do the right thing in and not heard anybody on the ground it just would depend on what kind of problem within that they neck cockpit if it was something worried about the airplane does not come apart he said I've got to put it down somewhere the top of this building the closest place where I think I won't hurt other people maybe that's what happened generally you'll look for an open area around New York which seen helicopters have troubled past -- ditch into the -- eager to Hudson. Or order the East River and and so those are the sorts of decisions that are in the pilot house to make when you're flying airplane around very crowded places. Colonel Dan -- thank you for being with us here to discuss reports stick with us as we learn more information as were on the air. That's colonel Stephen -- with us following the developments alive. Bring in Sean off for Rell who is an eyewitness and Shana eight I was told that you were actually in the building when this happens. Yeah I worked at 77 them out here at basic or actually India. With breakup apparently Eric. A lack sleeping founder of motor. And I'm eager to crack and felt the fractured while. What happened when we bought a small degree it is ran and ran not to play back music Eric. While 36 flights how how tall is the building how many floors. I'm taking them out. Be around fifty and I know the crash happened on the from our vantage point but I'm not sure are it would support. So this a shot for real stick with a Sean I have a few more questions for you but Shauna is describing the scene inside that building she was on this 36 floor. In the middle of the meeting and felt the building shake heard the whizzing of the helicopter. Keep in mind she was some 36 who believes there fifty sum up floors of that building and sort of feel it that far down the building. Gives you an idea perhaps of the impact of this helicopter making that hard landing in Charlotte. He said you were running down. 36 flights of stairs I gather several others were too were they able to evacuate the entire building and just describe the scene if you would on the sidewalk in and the evacuation and whether or not you saw any signs of a fire that was being reported. We ran down in the third quarterback actually he felt it general they'll quickly my column are or alert. Parents. Once he got ample bottom Gary EE one. But nothing really help them so reading out. I recruit candidates running away and don't get the city but we were unsure act and what part but perhaps aren't that our company and that morning. Charts Perot who was on the 36 floor of that building somehow we're glad you're okay and co workers are OK thank you for joining us. Here this afternoon you're looking at pictures right now the smoke from the top of that building. Obviously from the fire when the helicopter made impact. Came down for that landing on top of the building. Unclear still what led the helicopter to. Force itself to make that hard landing obviously the pilot encountered some sort of trouble and it's unclear whether or not that was. Simply the weather or problems in addition to the weather. We can confirm at this hour one deceased. In the helicopter no other injuries. The fire has been extinguished but again you're looking at pictures of the smoke following. That impacted as you just church on a for all she's an eyewitness she was on the 36 floor. In the middle of a meeting with coworkers when they felt the building shake she described to whizzing sound Hamas outside the windows of that building. Just imagine the fear for the people who work in that building given the history of what weave witnessed and encountered here in New York City when it comes to aircraft and when these high rises are involved he did hear the governor a come out very quickly governor Andrew Cuomo saying there is. No sign. No sign that this was at all terror related to the investigation quickly now turns to. Oh what it was on that helicopter I want to bring in ABC's David Curley he's or chief aviation correspondent. A because David's keys for those who are familiar with New York City and who have visited this city. As many have you often looked up to the sky and see those helicopters there are tour helicopters they're helicopters that will take you out to the main airports. And I've just learned here moments ago that there's a ground stop at several of the airports here in New York City which speaks to bad weather issue. It could be actually that whether it's you do that in the wanting to remembered it nearly all these incidents it's it's rarely just one factor. So it could be that the weather was a contributing factor that could have been a mechanical. And this crowd gathered suggested that the possibility to be up items to put this down. At the closest plays about hurting anybody. On the ground. And the fire which makes sense. It as a crash landing at that not knowing how much fuel he actually got a court that you would have a fire associated with that but. There are lot of questions to answer loyalties and yes a lot of helicopters and a lot of aircraft around. They Gorky you know it's been a long time it was thirteen years ago and 2006. The date a small plane crashed into what is skyscrapers. In Manhattan up but there is a tremendous amount of air traffic around that every day. And as we heard some a pilot who flies around. They're a little bit earlier today. Com. Different pilots different companies have different rules about whether you can slide in the kind of weather conditions or Judah. So much more to learn about weather what all the factors were that like this helicopter. Landing hard on that's got hurt her. That's our aviation transportation correspondent is David Curley joining us for live coverage right now you are watching. Our coverage of what has been a deadly helicopter accident in midtown Manhattan you can tell from the signal right there that the weather. Has been a difficult here in New York City really for several hours now a heavy rain and wind at times here in York city NS David is mentioned in several others. That's going to be a main factor that they investigate we do know preliminary read from law enforcement sources at this hour that that helicopter was in some sort of trouble. And at the pilot tried to put it down at the nearest flat spot you heard colonel Dan you'd say. That's at the discretion of the pilot during an emergency situation who would. Obviously try to avoid casualties on the ground a city of nine million people or more here in New York of course. It's the work date midtown Manhattan very busy at this hour and what we don't know is what that pilot encountered. And what if there were any other options that the public might have. Looked out before decided to try to make that landing on the top of a high rise in New York City one of the things we learned is that there aren't any help pads on the top of any buildings here in New York City for precisely that reason to avoid. Accidents or putting other people of New York City in any more danger than they might already be in with helicopters and aircraft flying over the city but again one dead at this hour. It's believed it is the pilot of that helicopter. Encountering some sort of trouble with in the last hour as it was flying over midtown Manhattan. A hard landing at 7877. Avenue that's at 51. And seventh. There was a fire that ensued that fire is now been put out and you've seen the pictures here on ABC news. Of the smoke billowing from the top of that building in that harrowing description of the workers inside who did not know what was happening to their building. One worker describing the whizzing sound of an aircraft nearby and then the building shaking. She also described several of her coworkers including herself. Running down the stairs of that building to get. To safety we will have much more on our digital channel live this afternoon and at abcnews.com. And of course a complete wrap up a world news tonight I'll see that meets. This has been a special room. From ABC.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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