‘Quite chaotic’: Waterloo woman describes being in Manhattan building hit by helicopter

Emergency vehicles fill the street at the scene after a helicopter crashed atop a building in Times Square and caused a fire in the Manhattan borough of New York New York

NY governor Andrew Cuomo said he had flashbacks to 9/11 on Monday as he spoke to reporters about the helicopter crash that sparked chaos in Midtown Manhattan.

The crash occurred at a building not far from Times Square and Rockefeller Center.

McCormack, who had qualified as a Rotorcraft flight instructor a year ago, had been certified, in 2004, to fly helicopters and single-engine airplanes, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records.

A typical afternoon inside the offices of a Midtown Manhattan skyscraper suddenly turned to chaos Monday when a helicopter, just 11 minutes into its flight, crash-landed on the roof above.

The New York City Fire Department confirmed one fatality.

The governor of NY spoke out to reassure New Yorkers following the tragic incident.

Nathan Hutton, who works in information technology for the French bank BNP Paribas on the 29th floor, said the building shook when the helicopter slammed into the roof.

The pilot was identified as Tim McCormack by law enforcement sources.

Multiple news outlets in NY are reporting that a helicopter has crashed into the building at 787 Seventh Ave.at about 2:15 p.m. local time.

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American Continental Properties Inc, the company the helicopter is registered to, remembered McCormack - whose father and grandfather were firefighters in Poughkeepsie - in a statement to ABC News.

The crash site is about a half mile from Trump Tower, where U.S. President Donald Trump maintains an apartment, an area that has been under extra-tight flight restrictions since Trump's November 2016 election. "It was obviously a very hard hit", de Blasio said, adding nothing indicated "an act of terrorism". In Washington, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, a Manhattan Democrat, called on the Federal Aviation Administration to ban "non-essential" helicopter flights over Manhattan, as she did after a previous crash. Speaking at the scene, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told reporters there had been "casualties" on board the helicopter, but that no one in the building had been hurt. "We don't know what caused the helicopter to land on top of the building but the people in the building itself, nobody has been hurt".

"I couldn't tell if the smoke preceded the helicopter coming over, or if it was from the helicopter crashing into the building", he said.

Officials extinguished the fire in 30 minutes.

Cuomo said the crash likely stirred memories of Sept 11 for many city residents. "It felt like you were just standing there, and someone takes their hand and just shoves you", he said.

The East Clinton Volunteer Fire Department posted on Facebook that McCormack's "technical knowledge and ability to command an emergency were exceptional". The Agusta A109E helicopter crashed into the 750-foot-tall AXA Equitable building, on 7th Avenue near 51st Street, around 1:45 p.m.

"We are pretty shocked we hope everyone is OK and safe", said Ron Magee, 55, a real estate agent on vacation from Las Vegas with his family.

Five individuals died when a sightseeing helicopter crashed into the East River last one year.

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