U.S.

East River helicopter crash was NYC company’s third since 2007

Five passengers died Sunday evening aboard a helicopter when it crashed into the East River during a sightseeing flight over New York City. The pilot was the only survivor.

Early reports indicate the crash might have been caused when a passenger’s bag engaged the fuel shutoff button.

Regardless of the cause, Liberty Helicopters is making headlines in the wake of the crash as news surfaced that in just over a decade, the company has operated two other vehicles that went down during tours.

A total of nine people were killed, including all six aboard the helicopter, in a 2009 mid-air collision with a small private plane. That incident led to stricter regulation of the airspace over the Hudson River.

Two years earlier, seven passengers and a pilot were able to avoid serious injury after crashing into the Hudson River following a mechanical failure.

Liberty Helicopters issued a statement on its website:

We are focused on supporting the families affected by this tragic accident and on fully cooperating with the FAA and NTSB investigation. These agencies have asked us to respect the investigative process by referring all press inquiries to them for any further comment.

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