Nine people are dead as a light plane collided with a helicopter in the sky above the Hudson River overlooking the Hoboken, New Jersey and Manhattan Saturday afternoon.
Three bodies have been recovered, one child and two adults so far. Three people were on board Piper PA-32, Five people and the pilot were on board the helicopter. The five people from Bologna, Italy were on a helicopter tour of New York; operated by Liberty Helicopter Sightseeing tours of New York.
The single engine light plane took off from Teterboro, NJ airport bound for Ocean City, NJ.
The Italian Embassy is working in cooperation with New York City Authorities.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, doubted if there were survivors. “It appears that this was not survivable,” Bloomberg said at a press conference. “This is not going to have a happy ending.”
The some of the victims have been identified as Steven Altman of Pennsylvania , his brother-in-law Daniel(last name not given) and Daniel’s son (name has not been released.)
The Italian news agency ANSA has identified the victim on board the helicopter as Tiziana Pedrone, Fabio Gallazzi, Giacomo Gallazzi, Michele Norelli and Filippo Norelli.
Witness saw the collision were shocked to see what had happened. Jasmine Pan, who was playing a round of mini golf on Chelsea Piers in Manhattan “I heard what sounded like an explosion and [saw] the helicopter just falling from the sky,” she said. “It was like out of a movie.”
Buzz Nahas, who saw the mid air crash said the airplane left wing was sliced off by the impact of airplane and helicopter.
“There was a loud pop, almost like a car backfire,” said Nahas, who saw the crash from the shore in Hoboken. “The helicopter dropped like a rock. The plane lost its wing.”
Another witness Kate Tanski, from Hoboken , ran for her life after hearing the collision and see debris raining down to earth.
“We saw the helicopter propellers fly all over,” she said.
The National Transportation Safety Board Chairwoman Debbie Hersman released a statement saying that the helicopter was found and marked by buoys.
New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said the search and recovery mission suspended due to darkness, it resumes tomorrow at 7 A. M.
The divers will continue until search is complete.