Last night, a helicopter crashed into New York City’s East River, killing the five passengers onboard, including one Argentine, Carla Vallejos Blanca, 28. The crash was caught on video around 7 PM. Fire Department of New York Commissioner Daniel Nigro commented on the difficulty of the rescue as the five passengers “were tightly harnessed” and “had to be cut out.”
— JJ Magers (@JJmagers) March 11, 2018
According to New York City Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill, the helicopter was hired for a private photoshoot and owned and operated by Liberty Helicopter Tours. CBS News indicated that there have been at least two previous crashes with Liberty Helicopter Tours, in 2009 and 2007, the former of which killed nine people.
CNN reports that luggage may have caused the issue: some of the passenger’s belongings might have hit the emergency fuel shut off button, however the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is looking into the cause of the crash.
NTSB investigating crash today of helicopter into New York City’s East River. Team arriving in a.m. For details on media briefings and other news, check @NTSB_Newsroom
— NTSB_Newsroom (@NTSB_Newsroom) March 12, 2018
Argentine Consul to the US Mateo Estremé told Radio Sudamericana he notified the family of the victim, who live in Corrientes, early this morning. Vallejos was a publicist who graduated from Universidad de la Cuenca del Plata (UCDP).
This is the second time in recent memory where Argentines have lost their lives in New York City; last Halloween’s terrorist attack killed five Argentine friends vacationing in the Big Apple.