>> The wreckage of this charter helicopter was pulled from New York City's East River on Monday. Five passengers were killed when the sightseeing flight crashed into the water the night before. The pilot managed to free himself from the aircraft and was the only survivor of the disaster. Amateur video captured the moment the helicopter came down.
The pilot sent a mayday call saying his engine failed.>> This is mayday, mayday mayday, engine failure.>> Someone climbed out of the helicopter and then was on top of the yellow raft screaming help, and waving his arms like this.>> According to media reports, he told investigators a passenger's bag may have accidentally activated the chopper's emergency fuel cut off switch.
On Monday, the National Transportation Safety Administration said it hadn't yet determined the cause of the crash.>> Our mission is to understand not just what happened but why it happened so we can prevent it from happening again.>> Police identified two of the deceased as visitors from Texas and said one was a tourist from Argentina.
The aircraft was operated by Liberty Helicopters. The company released a statement that it was, quote, focused on supporting the families affected by the tragic accident. The company has been involved in at least two other crashes, including a mid air collision in 2009 that killed nine people and a 2007 crash into the Hudson River, where all the passengers survived.