March 11, 2018
The red helicopter carrying six people zoomed over the East River, flying along a popular route for sightseers who want to view the Manhattan skyline, but something appeared wrong with its path on Sunday evening.
5 People Killed in Helicopter Crash in East River Off Manhattan
It was flying too fast and descending too quickly, witnesses said.
From high-rise apartment buildings and parks along the river, they watched as the helicopter, losing altitude as if it were landing on solid ground, plunged into the chilly water.
Its swirling rotors chopped into the river, eventually coming to a stop as it tilted, capsized and began to sink shortly after 7 p.m.
Moments later, the pilot escaped, climbed to the top of the wreckage and yelled for help, a witness said. A flotilla of tugboats and emergency boats converged on the crash site, a couple of hundred yards north of Roosevelt Island, and began a frenzied search for others on board.
Emergency responders dived into the water to rescue the passengers, who were tightly harnessed in and had to be cut out, Daniel A. Nigro, the commissioner of the New York Fire Department, said at a news conference.
Battling currents of 5 miles per hour and a water temperature below 40 degrees, he said, the responders pulled the passengers out of the submerged helicopter and brought them ashore.
Despite the rescue efforts, all five passengers were killed, James Long, a Fire Department spokesman, said early Monday morning. Two were declared dead at the scene and three died in local hospitals. Commissioner Nigro said the pilot was at a hospital and in “O.K.” condition.
“It was a great tragedy that we had here,” he said.
5 People Killed in Helicopter Crash in East River Off Manhattan
It was not immediately clear what caused the helicopter to crash. Witnesses said it caught their attention because it was traveling faster and at a lower altitude than the helicopters that normally fly along the East River between Manhattan and Queens.
The helicopter, a Eurocopter AS350 owned by Liberty Helicopters, was flying as a private charter to take photos, Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill said at the news conference. A brochure for Liberty Helicopters, which is based in New Jersey, says it is the only company licensed to fly within 1,000 feet of the Statue of Liberty on all of its tours.
Its pilots have been “flying safely” for 28 years, according to the brochure. The company could not be reached for comment on Sunday night.
People who witnessed the crash said they saw emergency responders pull one person out of the water — a man who was wrapped in a white blanket — and place him in an ambulance at about 8 p.m. About an hour later, three people were taken out of the water and placed on stretchers. Emergency responders were seen performing CPR on them as they were placed into ambulances.
5 People Killed in Helicopter Crash in East River Off Manhattan
Kaderia Melchon was walking in Carl Schurz Park on the Upper East Side of Manhattan when she said she spotted the helicopter descend into the water. Because it was red, she said she first thought it was a Fire Department helicopter.
After it crashed, it flipped over almost immediately, its landing skids pointing into the air, she said. A man emerged and shouted for help, she said.
Another witness, Xinran Jiang, who lives on Roosevelt Island with her husband, said that helicopters zoom over the East River all the time but that this one immediately caught their attention.
“It almost looked like it was landing,” Ms. Jiang, who watched the crash from her bedroom window, said. “It wasn’t moving fast. We were curious where it was going to land. Then the next minute, it was diving into the river.”
By 9:30 p.m., a tugboat had taken the helicopter to the East 34th Street Heliport.
5 People Killed in Helicopter Crash in East River Off Manhattan
Helicopters are a common sight over New York City’s waterways, ferrying tourists on sightseeing trips and carrying commuters. Crashes are rare but not unheard-of.
In 2011, three tourists died after a Helicopter Crashed into the East River; two other people survived.
In 2004, a WNBC helicopter crashed onto a roof in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn while covering a shooting, but all three people on board survived. There were also no casualties when, in 2005, two helicopters — one of them carrying executives from MBNA Corporation, a major credit card company — crashed into the East River within less than a week.
In 2009, when a helicopter carrying five Italian tourists was struck by a single-engine airplane over the Hudson River, everyone on both aircraft died.
In 1997, an executive at Colgate-Palmolive was killed when a helicopter crashed into the East River moments after takeoff. And from 1985 to 1990, three aircraft owned by the same company, Island Helicopter, went down in the East River.
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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