Shortly before noon, a small plane collided with a sightseeing helicopter between Hoboken, NJ and the waters of West 14th Street.
There were five passengers and a pilot on the helicopter and an unknown number of people on the small plane. Witnesses report seeing people “taken from the water” by rescue personnel in boats and divers are said to be on the scene. Both aircraft are reported to be underwater. A MyFoxNY reporter happened to witness the crash from her apartment window and told the news station:
“Both (aircraft) came apart,” said MyFoxNY.com producer Kathy Carvajal, who witnessed the crash from her apartment window. “I saw one spiral into the water. From my vantage point, I couldn’t see where the other (craft) landed.”
Buzz Nahas saw the crash from the shore in Hoboken, N.J. He said there was a loud pop, like a car backfire. He says the helicopter “dropped like a rock” and that the plane lost its wing.
Eyewitnesses also spoke to the New York Daily News:
Scott Reynolds, 42, said the helicopter seemed to explode after the collision on a clear, sunny afternoon.
“There was a white puff,” said the Florida tourist. “It looked like the rotors just exploded, like something hit him.”
The chopper’s propeller separated from its body as the helicopter plunged into the water, according to one witness.
“I just looked up, and I saw parts of the propeller in the air,” said eyewitness Alanna Duffy, 29. “They were mangled.”
Reports indicate at least one person has been killed in the collision. The helicopter was registered to Liberty Helicopter Sightseeing Tours.
UPDATE: Mashable has collected some tweets from witnesses. Chilling, indeed:
Hudson River power boater @MychaelS was on the river and took Twitpic’d a photo of the coastguard on route.
Most chillingly, Twitter user @weekendoasis claims the Twitpic below (at top of this post) is from the plane involved in the crash. He Tweets: “Tire from copter crash in nyc.. landed in front of my car while driving”.