A helicopter made a crash landing onto the roof of a midtown Manhattan skyscraper on Monday, killing at least one person and sending a plume of smoke skyward from the top of the building, which was shrouded in fog.
The crash occurred shortly before 2 p.m. (1800 GMT) on a rainy day at the AXA Equitable Center at 787 Seventh Avenue. Dozens of emergency vehicles swarmed the busy area, a few blocks north of Times Square.
The city fire department said on Twitter around 2:40 p.m. that one unidentified person was killed. Media reports said the person killed was the helicopter pilot.
Governor Andrew Cuomo, who was at the scene soon after the crash, told reporters that it appeared a helicopter attempted a forced emergency landing on the roof and that no one inside the building had been injured. It was not clear if the weather was a contributing factor.
Nathan Hutton, who works in information technology for the French bank BNP Paribas on the 29th floor, said the building shook when the helicopter slammed into the roof.
“It felt like you were just standing there, and someone takes their hand and just shoves you,” he said. “You felt it through the whole building.”
Melvin Douglas, 50, who was selling umbrellas on the street, said he heard a “rumble” when the helicopter crash landed.
“I didn’t see it, but I felt it,” said Douglas. “Smoke was on top of the building.”
A fire that broke out on the roof was quickly brought under control, the fire department said. The building, which houses a number of corporate offices, was evacuated after the crash.
“Phenomenal job by our GREAT First Responders who are currently on the scene,” U.S. President Donald Trump said on Twitter after being briefed on the crash. “The Trump Administration stands ready should you need anything at all.”
Reporting by Gabriella Borter; Additional reporting by Peter Szekely; Writing by Joseph Ax; Editing by David Alexander and Bill Rigby