MAN­HAT­TAN CHOP­PER CRASH TRIG­GERS 9/11 MEMORIES

Mercury (Hobart) - - WORLD -

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.

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