Five people died after a tour helicopter carrying six people crashed into the East River Sunday evening, FDNY and NYPD officials said.
Though helicopter crashes in the East and Hudson Rivers are not necessarily uncommon, this becomes one of the deadliest in the city's history, and one of the worst civilian aviation fatalities of any kind in the United States over the last few years.
The five passengers became trapped in the overturned helicopter and had to be pulled from frigid waters by divers, officials said. Three of them were taken to area hospitals in critical condition, while the other two were pronounced dead at the scene.
FDNY spokesman Jim Long said shortly before 1 a.m. Monday that the three critically injured passengers had died; two of them were at Bellevue Hospital and a third was at NYU Medical Center.