Saturday, August 8, 2009

Helicopter, Plane Collide over Hudson: Liberty Tours Helicopter, Plane Down in Hudson Near Pier 40

Live reporting happening now as rescue attempts are in progress to bring passengers to safety from the Hudson River. The tourist helicopter is said to have had 6 passengers on board when it collided with a small plane over the Hudson near Pier 40. See updates below.

Hudson River Pier 40
The location is between New York and Hoboken, New Jersey over the Hudson River, near 14th Street and the West Side Highway, according to coast Guard. Both planes came down near Pier 40. The helicopter is said to belong to Liberty Helicopter Sightseeing Tours. The area is said to be enclosed with buildings, not a wide area. Liberty advertises a Lady Liberty tour, The Big Apple tour, Romance over Manhattan, and the New York, New York. The plane was a 1976 fixed wing single-engine which reportedly took off from Pennsylvania with two people aboard. FAA reports say the plane took off from Teterboro, New Jersey. A witness said "there was a loud pop, like a car backfire." The helicopter dropped like a rock and the plane lost its wing," he said. At this time, one person is known to have been pulled from the Hudson (see unconfirmed update below). Updates as available. Update 8-8-09 12:30 pm CDT: The person one known person pulled from the Hudson is said to be a survivor. The small airplane is reported to be a Piper PA-32 Jamie Colby on FOXNews is reporting that the helicopter blades flew even onto land with people in the area taking cover. On this same day in 2007, a helicopter made an emergency landing in the Hudson - a rare happening. All of the passengers were safe in that event two years ago. On the phone with Jamie Colby: Just after 12 noon EST: An eyewitness didn't hear "a single thing" but saw a helicopter making an unnatural movement, and then made a nosedive to the water. She did not see the collision or the small plane. She said there was no debris on the water at all, and Colby said the water is extremely murky. She also says someone in area saw three persons pulled out alive on the New Jersey side. Jon Scott, a Fox anchor and pilot familiar with the skies in this area, is also on the phone with Colby. Although there are reports of one person surviving, Scott says that will be a miracle if true. Reports this minute say the planes collided closer to the New Jersey side. A wing was sheered off of the Piper A-32. It has been confirmed that the small plane took off from Teteboro and no Pennsylvania, as earlier reported. Update 12:27 pm CDT: The New York Daily News is reporting that the person pulled from the Hudson did not survive the crash.

The victim's body was found in the water off 14th St. following the crash on a clear, sunny afternoon, police sources said.

A survivor of the collision was pulled from the water by the Coast Guard, authorities said.

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