A helicopter crashed onto the roof of a 54-story building Monday afternoon in Midtown Manhattan, killing the pilot, New York City police and fire officials said.
No one else was injured in the crash, which officials said appeared to be an accident not an act of terrorism. The crash sparked a two-alarm fire at the building, located at 787 7th Avenue, between 51st and 52nd Streets, not far from Times Square.
A New York City Police Department source told CBS News that the helicopter crash-landed on the roof but did not go into the building. The weather was foggy and rainy at the time.
A photo tweeted by the FDNY showed firefighters on the roof amid the scorched wreckage after the fire was put out. Only a small portion of the helicopter, possibly part of the tail section, appeared to be still intact.
The helicopter took off at around 1:32 p.m. from the 34th St. heliport and crashed 11 minutes later, according to Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill. It’s unclear where it was headed.
The pilot, identified as Tim McCormick, was the only person aboard the helicopter. “McCormick is an experienced pilot and very well respected in the aircraft community,” said Paul Dudley, airport manager in Linden, New Jersey, where the helicopter flew out of. Dudley said he believes the helicopter must have had a mechanical problem and that McCormick was trying to land on top of the building to spare the people on the ground.
Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro said some fuel leaked from the crash but that it was no longer an issue.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo was on the scene shortly after the crash and told CBS New York that it appeared the helicopter tried to make an emergency landing on the roof.