NEW YORK (WFSB) - A pilot has died after a helicopter crashed into a high rise in New York City Monday afternoon.

It happened on 7th Avenue in Manhattan around 2 p.m., the New York Fire Department said.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said preliminary information seems to suggest that the pilot had to make a forced landing on the top of the building.

The crash also sparked a fire.

See photos from the scene here.

"7th Avenue south of West 57th Street is closed to vehicular traffic," the fire department posted to Twitter. "Please avoid the area of 787 7th Avenue. Updates to follow."

Hundreds of people inside the 54-story building, and several other nearby buildings, were evacuated.

The incident, close to both Rockefeller Center and Times Square, sent rescue vehicles swarming to the building and immediately evoked memories of the Sept. 11 attacks, though officials said there were no indications it was related to terrorism.

"If you're a New Yorker, you have a level of PTSD, right, from 9/11. And I remember that morning all too well. So as soon as you hear an aircraft hit a building, I think my mind goes where every New Yorker's mind goes," Cuomo said.

Officials said most of the damage is contained to the roof, which was not designed for a helicopter landing.

The pilot, identified as Tim McCormack, is believed to have been the only one on board, and there were no reports of any other injuries.

McCormack was described as an experienced pilot and former firefighter, but it's unclear why he was flying in the fog, rain, and an unrestricted airspace. 

There were almost no pieces of the helicopter left intact after the crash. 

The FAA is investigating what happened.

Refresh this page and watch Channel 3 for updates.

Copyright 2019 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.