A helicopter crashed Monday on the roof of a skyscraper in midtown Manhattan, killing the pilot, officials said. The crash occurred around 2 p.m. The roof of the 750-foot AXA Equitable building was obscured by continuous rain and clouds.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who spoke about 20 minutes after the crash with reporters on the scene, said the impact shook the building and caused a fire, but it was under control and no other injuries were reported.
The crash, close to both the Rockefeller Center and Times Square, sent rescue vehicles swarming to the building and immediately evoked memories of the attacks of Sept. 11, although officials said there was no evidence of terrorism related.
“If you’re a New Yorker, you have a level of PTSD, right, from 9/11. And I remember that morning all too well. So as soon as you hear an aircraft hit a building, I think my mind goes where every New Yorker’s mind goes,” Cuomo said.
The Federal Aviation Administration said it was going to investigate. The type of helicopter was involved was not known immediately. Officials in New York said the pilot was supposed to be the only one on board.
Videos posted by people in the streets below showed emergency vehicles in the street, but no obvious damage to the skyscraper.
Pedro Rodriguez, a pastry line cook at Le Bernardin, a well-known restaurant in the building, said employees received an announcement telling everyone to leave, and later he heard from individuals around him that there was a fire on the rooftop. Rodriguez said the evacuation was not messy, but he was rattled because he instantly thought of the assaults of Sept. 11.
A fire that broke out on the roof was quickly brought under control, the fire department said.
There were no immediate indications of any connections to terrorism.