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Helicopter makes crash landing on NYC building; 1 dead

By Danielle Haynes
Helicopter makes crash landing on NYC building; 1 dead
Emergency officials surround the scene after a helicopter crashed on top of a building in Manhattan on Monday afternoon. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

June 10 (UPI) -- A helicopter crashed on top of a high-rise building in Manhattan on Monday, leaving the pilot dead, local emergency officials said.

The New York City Fire Department described the incident as a "crash landing," and Gov. Andrew Cuomo said it's unclear what caused the helicopter to make the forced landing. He said no people inside the building were injured.

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Law enforcement officials identified the deceased pilot as Tim McCormack. He flew for American Continental Properties, the company that owned the helicopter, for five years.

"We are mourning the loss of Tim McCormack who has flow for us for the past five years. Our hearts are with his family and friends," the company said.

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The incident caused a fire atop the the building at 787 Seventh Ave., and prompted evacuations, the governor said. It took firefighters 30 minutes to put out the blaze.

"People who were in the building said they felt the building shake," he said. "The fire department believes the fire is under control.

FDNY said that though the fire was extinguished, firefighters were attempting to control leaking fuel from the aircraft.

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

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The crash landing occurred amid rain and fog throughout Manhattan. Sources told NYPD investigators that McCormack initially planned to wait out the weather, but eventually decided it was safe to fly.

City officials banned helicopter landings on top of buildings in Manhattan -- except hospitals -- in 1977 after a crash, aviation expert Miles O'Brien, told CNN.

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The 51-story building is located in Midtown Manhattan between Times Square and Central Park. The New York Police Department closed West 51st Street and West 52nd Street between Sixth Avenue and Seventh Avenue.

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