1 dead after helicopter crashes on skyscraper in midtown Manhattan, sparks fire

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NEW YORK (CBS) - At least one person has died when a helicopter crashed into a building Monday afternoon in Midtown Manhattan, according to the New York City Fire Department. The crash sparked a two-alarm fire at the building, located at 787 7th Avenue, between 51st and 52nd Streets.

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.


One person was aboard the helicopter. The FDNY reports that the fire had been extinguished and that one fatality was reported.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is on the scene and told CBS New York that it appeared the helicopter tried to make an emergency landing on the roof.

"There was a helicopter that made a forced landing, emergency landing, or landed on the roof of the building for one reason or another," Cuomo said. "There was a fire that happened when the helicopter hit the roof ... The fire department believes the fire is under control. There may be casualties involved with people who were in the helicopter."

Cuomo also said the incident does not appear to be terror-related.

"If you're a New Yorker you have a level of PTSD from 9/11 ... so as soon as you hear an aircraft hit a building, I think my mind goes where every New Yorker's mind goes. But there's no indication that that is the case," Cuomo said.

The FAA said it was gathering information about "an accident involving a helicopter that crashed into a building in Midtown Manhattan," and that it would post a statement as soon as it has confirmed details.

"The building shook," a man who said he worked on the 38th floor told CBS New York. "It sounded like a small engine plane at first then I just felt the building shake," he said.

Hundreds of people who worked in the building had to evacuate. 7th Avenue is closed to traffic and the NYPD advised people to avoid the area.