Helicopter crashes, sinks into New York river

The helicopter in the water.
The helicopter in the water. Photo credit: Twitter/JJMagers

The moment a tourist helicopter crashed into New York City's East River and sank was caught on camera.

Two people are dead and three are in hospital in a critical condition.

Six people were on board when the aircraft hit the water on Sunday night (local time), its blades still spinning and perhaps causing it to roll over.

Witnesses said it was underwater within minutes.

One managed to escape immediately, reports the New York Post, while five were trapped as it sank.

"It looked like it was completely submerged," witness John Magers told the paper. "It couldn't have been any longer than 5 minutes."

A tug boat scooped up the survivor, who was reportedly the pilot according to the New York Post. Police divers were later seen heading towards the spot where the helicopter was last seen.

"It wasn't moving fast," witness Xinran Jiang told the New York Times.

"We were curious where it was going to land. Then the next minute, it was diving into the river."