Tourists who watched a helicopter crash on to the roof of a Manhattan building said 'it takes you back a little bit' to 9/11

  • Tourists from Denver were in New York on Monday when a helicopter crash landed on the roof of a building in Midtown, killing the aircraft’s pilot, Tim McCormack.
  • Chellie Morrison said the incident was reminiscent of 9/11, when planes crashed into the World Trade Center towers.
  • Her family had been walking by the scene when they saw fire trucks and police rushing people from the scene.
  • McCormack crashed less than 15 minutes after taking off from the 34th Street Helipad en route to Linden, New Jersey.
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.

Tourists from Denver who witnessed the helicopter crash in Manhattan on Monday afternoon said the incident was reminiscent of 9/11.

Scott and Chellie Morrison and their son, Colin, were in New York City on Monday when a helicopter crash landed on the roof of the 750-foot AXA Equitable building just before 2 p.m., killing the aircraft’s pilot, Tim McCormack.

The impact of the crash shook the building and caused a fire, and police barricaded off several blocks of Manhattan follow the incident.

The Morrison family.Nicole EinbinderThe Morrison family.

While officials said the incident did not have ties to terror, Chellie Morrison said it was still rattling.

“We come here just to visit, and this is very tragic,” she told INSIDER. ” It kind of rattles you a bit, takes you back a little bit … We haven’t seen the towers [memorial] yet – we’re doing that tomorrow – but that’s a thought that came to my mind.”

Scott Morrison added, “I don’t think there would be so much emotion if it hadn’t been for 9/11.”


Read more:
One dead after helicopter crashes into midtown Manhattan rooftop

The family had been walking by the scene when they saw fire trucks and police rushing people away from the scene.

“We thought it was a fire, or a rescue attempt, and then it was rumoured that it was a helicopter, and that’s when my wife talked to a woman who was in the building, because they evacuated the building. She could actually feel it hit,” he said.

NYPD Commissioner Jim O’Neill said at a press conference that McCormack had taken off in a privately owned helicopter from the 34th Street Helipad at 1:32 p.m. en route to Linden, New Jersey. He crashed at 1:45.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters that a fire broke out when the helicopter crash landed, but it is now under control,according to the Associated Press.


Read more:
Photos and video show the scene where a helicopter crashed into the roof of a building in midtown Manhattan

He said the incident shook the building, but there were no reports of injuries of people in the tower.

“If you’re a New Yorker you have a level of PTSD 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.

The official said the incident was believed to be an accident and there is no indication of terrorism.

It remained unclear what caused the crash, or why the helicopter was in such a tightly controlled airspace in Midtown. McCormack was the only person on board.

The FAA said the National Transportation Safety Board was investigating.

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