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5 passengers killed after helicopter crashes into New York's East River

  • Five passengers were killed after a helicopter hired for a photo shoot crashed into New York's East River on Sunday evening, authorities said.
  • The pilot freed himself and survived.
  • The NTSB will investigate.

Five passengers were killed after a helicopter hired for a photo shoot crashed into New York's East River on Sunday evening, authorities said.

Two passengers were pronounced dead at the scene. Three passengers were removed from the helicopter in a critical condition and later died at hospital, according to reports. The helicopter's pilot freed himself and was later released in a good condition from hospital.

A cargo ship sails past a pier covered in snow and ice floating in the East River in Brooklyn, New York on January 5, 2018. The National Weather Service said early Friday that very cold temperatures and wind chills will follow for much of the eastern third of the US through the weekend. A cold wave gripping a large section of the United States had already been blamed for a dozen deaths.
A cargo ship sails past a pier covered in snow and ice floating in the East River in Brooklyn, New York on January 5, 2018. The National Weather Service said early Friday that very cold temperatures and wind chills will follow for much of the eastern third of the US through the weekend. A cold wave gripping a large section of the United States had already been blamed for a dozen deaths.

The helicopter, which went down around 7 p.m., was submerged in the river and upside down, the FDNY said.

A video on Twitter appeared to show a red helicopter splash down into the river and tip to the side, its blades spinning in the water.

The helicopter is owned by Liberty Helicopters, according to the New York Police Department. The company, which offers sightseeing tours and charters, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The helicopter was a Eurocopter AS350, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.