New York, Aug.9 (ANI): The bodies of three of the nine presumed victims of a helicopter-plane collision over the Hudson River have been recovered, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said on Saturday.
NTSB chair Deborah Hersman says the recovery operations have been called off and will resume Sunday morning, due to compromising tides and low visibility.
The accident happened just after noon between Manhattan and Hoboken, N.J. when a small private plane collided with a sightseeing helicopter over the Hudson River, leaving debris scattered in the water and on the New Jersey shoreline, sending witnesses ducking for cover, reports the NYT.
The sight-seeing helicopter was carrying five Italian tourists and a pilot, and the plane was carrying a pilot and two passengers, one of whom is believed to have been a child, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at an afternoon press conference.
"This is not going to have a happy ending. This has changed from a rescue to a recovery mission. If anybody had survived, we would have been there," said Bloomberg.
Both craft are under water and may have sunk to a depth of 30 feet, he told reporters.
Though it was a crystal-clear summer day in New York, visibility is only about two feet in the water, making the recovery process extremely difficult.
The plane, a Piper PA-32, took off from Teterboro Airport in New Jersey, and the helicopter was a Eurocopter AS 350 owned by Liberty Tours, a sightseeing and charter company, the Federal Aviation Administration said. (ANI)