MANHATTAN CHOPPER CRASH TRIGGERS 9/11 MEMORIES
A HELICOPTER crashed on the roof of a rain-shrouded midtown Manhattan skyscraper on Monday, killing the pilot and briefly triggering memories of 9/11, after an erratic trip across some of the nation’s most restricted airspace. Authorities said they did not suspect terrorism.
The crash near Times Square shook the 229m AXA Equitable building, sparked a fire, and forced office workers to flee, witnesses and officials said.
The pilot was the only occupant and there were no other reports of injuries, authorities said.
It was not immediately clear what caused the crash, or why the Agusta A109E was flying in a driving downpour with low cloud cover and in the tightly controlled airspace of midtown Manhattan.
A flight restriction in effect since Donald Trump took office bans aircraft from flying below 914m within a 1.6km radius of Trump Tower, which is less than a kilometre from the crash site.
“There’s something mysterious here,” New York’s Mayor Bill de Blasio told CNN, saying officials were scrutinising video of a “very erratic” flight.