One person is dead and four were rescued from a Bell 206 helicopter that crashed on takeoff from the 34th Street heliport on the East River in New York City on Tuesday afternoon. Witnesses told New York media the helicopter launched from the heliport, went out of control and crashed inverted into the river. Two survivors were able to reach he surface and hang onto the aircraft's skids and they yelled for help as passersby phoned 911. By fortunate coincidence, some the finest of New York's finest were nearby.
The New York Times reports that an NYPD Hercules anti-terrorism unit was conducting an exercise nearby and plunged into the water to help. They found three people treading water and recovered one more from inside the helicopter. The NTSB is already on the scene and the investigation under way.