Helicopter crashes in Hudson River next to heliport
NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - Emergency crews from several agencies responded to a helicopter that crashed in the Hudson River near West 30th Street at around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, officials said.
The Bell 206 helicopter had just finished refueling at the West 30th Street Heliport when it took off and then suddenly dropped, according to the NYPD. The chopper then crashed into the water just next to the pier and the pilot climbed onto the emergency flotation pontoons, which has deployed, police said.
A ferry was carrying commuters from West 39th Street in Manhattan to 14th Street in Hoboken when Capt. Adam Sciaino saw the helicopter go down, according to NY Waterway.
"It was just instinct. Just another day for NY Waterway rescues," Sciaino said in a statement. "We're right here. Edwin Montoya is an outstanding deckhand. He moved instantly to the rescue."
Montoya pulled the pilot out of the water with a water rescue cradle, according to NY Waterway.
Video from SKYFOX showed an overturned helicopter partially submerged in the water along the seawall adjacent to the heliport. Several NYPD and FDNY boats were alongside the helicopter.
The helicopter's emergency pontoons kept the aircraft from sinking.
Debris hit and injured a heliport worker, who is expected to recover, the FDNY said. The pilot's injuries are also not considered life-threatening.
A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers crane vessel lifted the helicopter out of the water about 4 p.m. and then transported it to the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal for an investigation. The helicopter's top rotor blades and tail boom appeared to have broken off.
The FAA said it would be investigating.
The NTSB said it will also be investigating the accident but would not send a team to the scene.
"The recovery of a Bell helicopter that crashed in New York's Hudson River Wednesday, revealed the helicopter was substantially damaged, as such, NTSB will investigate the event as an accident," the agency said via Twitter.
Police shut down parts of 12th Avenue between West 42nd Street and West 23rd Street for a few hours.
"There are currently 2 non-life-threatening injuries reported on scene of a helicopter crash into the Hudson River - the pilot and one heliport worker injured by debris. #FDNY operations continue." --@FDNY via Twitter