Divers on Tuesday recovered the bodies of the final two of nine victims of Saturday’s collision between a helicopter and small plane over the Hudson River, police said.
“They were inside the wreckage when we pulled it up,” said New York Police Department Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne. Earlier Tuesday, police divers had attached chains and straps to the plane’s fuselage and used a crane to lift it from the riverbed 60 feet below the surface. On Saturday, the Piper PA-32 Saratoga carrying three people collided with a helicopter carrying six people, five of them Italian tourists, killing all nine people aboard both aircraft. The wreckage of the helicopter, operated by Liberty Helicopter Sightseeing Tours, was lifted Sunday nearly intact from the Hudson.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the collision, which occurred shortly after the helicopter took off from a heliport in Midtown Manhattan on what was to have been a 12-minute sightseeing tour around New York. The Piper took off from New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport and was bound for Ocean City, New Jersey. It began its flight Saturday morning at a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-area airfield.