A helicopter crashed onto the fog-shrouded roof of a midtown Manhattan skyscraper on Monday, killing the pilot and unnerving a city still scarred by memories of the Sept. 11, 2001, airplane attacks on the World Trade Center.
The crash on a rainy, gray day atop the 54-storey AXA Equitable Center forced office workers to evacuate in one of the city’s busiest areas a few blocks north of Times Square.
The pilot was the only person aboard the chopper when it plunged into the building and burst into flames, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told a news conference. No injuries, either to people in the building or on the ground, have been reported.
“The helicopter is pretty obliterated at this point. It was obviously a very hard hit,” de Blasio said, adding nothing indicated “an act of terrorism.”
Nicolas Estevez was standing across the street from the building when a 12-inch (30 cm) piece of metal that appeared to be from the helicopter landed on the pavement just feet away.
The crash, which sent people streaming out of the building within seconds, reminded him of Sept. 11, Estevez said.