Four people were injured and one woman died after a private Bell 206 helicopter crashed into the East River. According to a news report in The Star-Ledger, the helicopter accident occurred in the East River near 34th Street. At this time, authorities are not even sure if the helicopter was trying to take off or land at the time of the accident. The helicopter became fully submerged in the water. Initially, officials recovered four out of five occupants. Two of the victims were critically injured and two others suffered serious injuries. Rescue crews recovered a fifth victim who died.
According to The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), in the year 2008 there were 140 total civil helicopter accidents in the United States. During that same year, 75 people were killed, 28 people were seriously injured, and 40 sustained minor injuries in helicopter crashes. The report states that for every 100,000 flying hours there were 3.67 accidents, and 1.22 accidents for every 100,000 departures.
Victims of helicopter accidents may seek financial compensation for their injuries by filing a personal injury claim. In cases where negligence is involved, the at-fault pilot or the private helicopter company can be held liable. In cases where a defective part is involved, the manufacturer of the defective part can also be held liable for the injuries, damages, and losses. If mechanical malfunction caused the accident, it is important to look into whether the helicopter was properly maintained.