Helicopter makes 'crash landing' on NYC skyscraper, fire officials say

By TransportationFOXBusiness

Police on the scene as investigation into deadly helicopter crash begins

FOX Business’ Jackie DeAngelis on the fatal helicopter crash in New York City.

At least one person is dead after a helicopter made a "crash landing" on the roof of a New York City skyscraper Monday afternoon, fire officials said.

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The Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) confirmed at least one fatality. Local officials said at a news conference the fatality is the helicopter's pilot and family notification is pending.

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The FDNY said the crash happened at the AXA Equitable Center, located at 787 Seventh Avenue in midtown Manhattan, and their response was three-alarms. FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said the first call about the helicopter crash came in at 1:43 p.m. ET and fire officials responded to the scene within four minutes.

The building and other nearby structures were evacuated. Pedestrian and vehicular traffic along nearby streets were also blocked.

A source told Fox News the helicopter took off from the East 34th Street Heliport and suffered mechanical failure when it tried to make an emergency landing on building's roof.

New York Police Commissioner James O'Neill said the helicopter crashed on the roof about 11 minutes after take off. The helicopter was privately owned and believed to have been heading back to its homeport in Linden, New Jersey, he said at a news conference.

The NYPD described the crash as a "hard landing on the roof" in a tweet.

A fire that followed the crash landing was extinguished, according to the FDNY, but there was an operation "in response to the fuel leaking from the helicopter."

A massive emergency response on Monday after a helicopter crashed on a building in New York City. (Greg Norman/Fox News)

The FAA said the helicopter involved in the crash was an Agusta A109E and early information indicated there was only a pilot aboard the aircraft. "FAA air traffic controllers did not handle the flight. The NTSB will be in charge of the investigation and will determine probable cause of the accident.  We will release the aircraft registration after NYC officials release the pilot’s name," the FAA said in a tweet.

The AXA Equitable Center is located north of Times Square and south of Central Park.

President Trump, whose namesake Trump Tower is four blocks away from the crash site, said he has been informed of the incident.

"I have been briefed on the helicopter crash in New York City. Phenomenal job by our GREAT First Responders who are currently on the scene. THANK YOU for all you do 24/7/365! The Trump Administration stands ready should you need anything at all," he tweeted.

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo briefly spoke to reporters after the crash.

"If you're a New Yorker, you have a level of PTSD from 9/11, and I remember that morning all too well," Cuomo said. "So, as soon as you hear an aircraft hit a building, I think my mind goes where every New Yorker's mind goes."

Melissa DeRosa, secretary to the governor, said Trump and Cuomo have already spoken on the phone. "President Trump called Governor Cuomo while he was on the scene to inquire about the helicopter accident in midtown Manhattan and whether any assistance was needed. The two spoke and will stay in contact as the situation develops," she said in a statement.

California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) reportedly purchased the 54-story AXA Equitable Center for $1.9 billion in 2016, according to the Sacramento Bee.

"We are monitoring the situation and will continue to communicate with our manager, CommonWealth Partners, and their on-site staff," CalPERS said in a tweet.