Cell Phone Video Captures NYC Tourist Helicopter Crash That Killed 5 Passengers
Cell phone video captured the moment a New York City tourist helicopter crashed into the East River Sunday, killing all five passengers onboard.
The 33-year-old pilot, Richard Vance, was able to escape, screaming for help as he held onto a raft.
Divers responded to the scene, but were too late to save the passengers, who were strapped tightly into their seats with harnesses. Two died at the scene, while three were taken to a hospital and passed away later. Authorities said the water temperature was below 40 degrees.
Witnesses frantically called 911 as they saw the helicopter slowly descend into the water. Vance made a "mayday" call to LaGuardia Airport to report engine failure before the red chopper went down around 7:00pm ET.
The helicopter, operated by Liberty Helicopters, ended up upside down and the passengers were completely submerged.
The National Transportation Safety Board has sent a team to Manhattan to investigate the crash. The company that operates the helicopter tours also had a fatal crash in 2009.
Watch the report from "America's Newsroom" above.