A heartbreaking video shows the passengers inside a helicopter just moments before it crashed into a river in New York, killing five.
The video was posted on the Instagram story of journalist Trevor Cadigan, who has been named among those who died in the crash on Sunday (March 11).
26-year-old Cadigan, is seen smiling in the 30-second clip, with fellow passengers smiling and signalling a thumbs up as the helicopter takes off.
— Gershwin Forever (@GershwinForever) March 12, 2018
The Eurocopter AS350 helicopter is reported to have been hired for a photo shoot, but it crashed shortly after 7pm in the East River.
Footage of the helicopter crash landing in the river was released on social media by a witness who saw it happen.
JJ Magers wrote:
Just witnessed a helicopter crash into the East River .. hope everyone’s ok. Caught it all on tape.
[Update: The embedded tweet has been removed due to sensitivity]
Emergency services arrived at the scene shortly after and NYPD SCUBA divers, went in and freed the five trapped victims – but it was sadly too late.
The victims, as well as Cadigan, were identified by police as Brian McDaniel, a firefighter from Dallas, Carla Vallejos Blanco, a tourist from Argentina and Tristan Hill and Daniel Thompson, who had moved to the city for work, writes New York Daily News.
NEW: NYPD releases names of five people killed in a helicopter crash on NYC's East River
Carla Vallejos Blanco
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) March 12, 2018
Only the pilot, Richard Vance, survived the crash after he reportedly managed to free himself.
Vance has reportedly said he thinks the crash may have been caused by one of the passengers bags, or a harness, hitting a ‘critical piece of equipment’ – the cause of the accident has not yet been confirmed.
#NYPD SCUBA assists the @USACEHQ with the recovery of the helicopter from last night’s tragic East River accident. The helicopter was hoisted on to a barge and secured for @NTSB to continue their investigation. pic.twitter.com/svjKEfLkal
— NYPD Special Ops (@NYPDSpecialops) March 12, 2018
Cadigan was a former intern at television station WFAA, where his dad Jerry is a production manager.
Brad Ramsey, WFAA President and General Manager said in a statement:
The entire WFAA family is heartbroken by the sudden and tragic loss of Trevor Cadigan. We would like to thank the many friends and former employees of WFAA who have reached out to offer your condolences and support. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of Trevor’s family and friends, and with the families of all of the victims of yesterday’s tragic accident.
A GoFundMe page has now been set up by employees of WFAA.
On Sunday, March 11, Trevor Cadigan was killed in a helicopter crash in New York City. Trevor had recently moved to New York and was living his dream working in journalism. Trevor grew up at WFAA and later served as an intern in the WFAA news department.
All funds received will go directly to Jerry Cadigan to help with travel expenses, funeral arrangements and honoring Trevor.
This gofund me page has been set up by the employees of WFAA, Channel 8 in Dallas, Texas, for the direct benefit to Trevor Cadigan’s father, longtime WFAA employee, Jerry Cadigan.
Rest in peace.