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Pilot killed in helicopter crash on office rooftop in midtown New York

A helicopter crash-landed on the roof a midtown Manhattan skyscraper Monday, killing the pilot, authorities said.

The crash happened at around 2 p.m. in a steady rain and clouds that obscured the roof of the tower, the AXA Equitable building.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who spoke to reporters at the scene about 20 minutes after the crash, said the impact shook the building and caused a fire, but it was under control and there were no other reports of injuries.

The incident, close to both Rockefeller Center and Times Square, sent rescue vehicles swarming to the building and immediately evoked memories of the Sept. 11 attacks, though officials said there were no indications it was related to terrorism.

“If you’re a New Yorker, you have a level of PTSD, right, 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 FAA said it would investigate. It was not immediately known what type of helicopter was involved.

Videos posted by onlookers showed emergency vehicles in the street, but no obvious damage to the skyscraper, which is about 750 feet (229 meters) tall.

Pedro Rodriguez, a pastry line cook at Le Bernardin, a well-known restaurant in the building, said workers got an announcement telling everyone to exit, and he later heard from people around him that there was a fire on the roof. The evacuation wasn’t chaotic, Rodriguez said, but he was rattled because he immediately thought of the Sept. 11 attacks.

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