All five passengers dead after helicopter crashes in New York City’s East River

New York State Police are seen near East 34th Street/Midtown East Landing after a chartered Liberty Helicopters helicopter crashed into the East River in New York. (Reuters)
Updated 12 March 2018
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All five passengers dead after helicopter crashes in New York City’s East River

NEW YORK: A helicopter carrying six people crashed in New York City’s East River on Sunday, killing all passengers, while the pilot escaped, police said.
Two of the five passengers died at the scene and three were taken to two area hospitals where they later died, a spokesman for the New York City Police spokesman confirmed early Monday.
The pilot freed himself and was rescued and was treated and released in good condition from a hospital, police said.
The Federal Aviation Administration said the Eurocopter AS350 went down near the northern end of Roosevelt Island at about 7pm and was investigating. The National Transportation Safety Board said its investigative team would arrive on Monday.
“It’s a great tragedy,” said New York Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro at a press conference late Sunday. “It took a while for the divers to get these people out.”
Nigro said when the divers reached the helicopter it was inverted and in 50 feet of water with below 40-degree Fahrenheit water temperatures and four-mile-an hour currents.
The passengers were tightly harnessed and the harnesses had to be cut and removed to free the passengers in the helicopter, he added.
A Reuters photographer witnessed three people recovered by rescue divers being wheeled on stretchers onto a midtown pier shortly before 9 p.m.
New York City Police Commissioner James O’Neill said the aircraft was registered to Liberty Helicopters, a sightseeing and charter service in New York, and was on a private charter “photo shoot.”
The US Coast Guard launched three boats to aid in the response, joining New York City emergency responders.
“It kind of hit sideways and just flipped over,” Brianna Jesme, 22, an Upper East Side resident who witnessed the crash, told Reuters TV.
Video of the incident filmed by an onlooker and posted on Twitter showed a red helicopter descending toward the water at dusk, then landing with a large splash before tipping onto its right side, its tail lights still flashing.
Reuters could not immediately verify the authenticity of the footage.
The NYC Ferry said late Sunday on Twitter that service on the Astoria and East River routes was currently suspended until further notice because of the helicopter crash.


Trump Administration says it knows location of all children

Updated 24 June 2018
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Trump Administration says it knows location of all children

  • Trump administration officials say the US government knows the location of all children in its custody after separating them from their families at the border and is working to reunite them
  • As part of the effort, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have posted notices in all its facilities advising detained parents who are trying to find or communicate with their children to call a hotline staffed 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Fr

Trump administration officials say the US government knows the location of all children in its custody after separating them from their families at the border and is working to reunite them.
A fact sheet on “zero-tolerance prosecution and family reunification” released Saturday night by the Department of Homeland Security also says a parent must request that their child be deported with them. In the past, the agency says, many parents have elected to be deported without their children. That may be a reflection of violence or persecution they face in their home countries.
As part of the effort, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have posted notices in all its facilities advising detained parents who are trying to find or communicate with their children to call a hotline staffed 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.
A parent or guardian trying to determine if a child is in the custody of HHS should contact the Office of Refugee Resettlement National Call Center at 1-800-203-7001, or via email [email protected] Information will be collected and sent to HHS funded facility where minor is located.
The fact sheet doesn’t state how long it might take to reunite families. The Port Isabel Service Processing Center in Texas has been set up as the staging ground for the families to be reunited prior to deportation.
How the government would reunite families has been unclear because the families are first stopped by Customs and Border Patrol, with children taken into custody by HHS and adults detained through ICE. Children have been sent to shelters around the country, raising alarm that parents might never know where their children can be found.
The fact sheet states that ICE has implemented an identification mechanism to ensure on-going tracking of linked family members throughout the detention and removal process; designated detention locations for separated parents and will enhance current processes to ensure communication with children in HHS custody; worked closely with foreign consulates to ensure that travel documents are issued for both the parent and child at time of removal; and coordinated with HHS for the reuniting of the child prior to the parents’ departure from the US
President Donald Trump on Wednesday ordered the practice of separating parents and their children to stop. As of last Wednesday, 2,053 minors who were separated at the border were being cared for in HHS-funded facilities, the fact sheet said.
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This version of the story has been corrected to say that the fact sheet was issued by the Department of Homeland Security, not Health and Human Services,
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Online:
HHS zero-tolerance prosecution and family reunification fact sheet:
http://apne.ws/qjYtmJR
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Office of Refugee Resettlement National Call Center:
http://www.acf.hhs.gov/orr/resource/orr-national-call-center