NTSB Report Says Passengers Struggled With Safety Harnesses in Fatal NYC Helicopter Crash

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The National Transportation Safety Board has released a report stating that passengers struggled with their safety harnesses following a helicopter crash in New York City’s East River last year.

According to USA Today, video was being recorded as the open-door helicopter crashed into the river. The footage shows one passenger reaching for a hook knife, while another struggles with their shoulder harness. Another passenger can be heard asking “how do I cut this?” The video goes dark underwater 13 seconds later.

All five passengers aboard died following the crash, and their bodies were recovered from the helicopter by divers. The pilot was able to free himself and was rescued by a tugboat soon after the crash.

According to the NTSB, the craft was operated by Liberty Helicopters, a company that offers sightseeing tours and private charter flights. On this particular flight, the helicopter took off at 6:53 p.m. and crashed into the river 14 minutes later.

The transcript of the video was released on Monday, but footage was not provided. There will be a public NTSB meeting in December to determine the cause of the fatal crash.

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