One individual dies after a seaplane crashed into a pier in Queens on Sunday, which also resulted in two critical injuries, said fire officials.
According to The New York Times, the aircraft was a small, single-engine Cessna and crashed around 3:00 p.m. west of the Throgs Neck Bridge located near Powells Cove Boulevard at 158th Street.
Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro of the New York City Fire Department said that witnesses saw a plane flying relatively fast along the water's surface and skipped twice before hitting the concrete pier. The crash of the airplane left it broken in pieces.
One witness who saw the incident unfold was a jet skier who was able to rescue two of the people that survived the initial crash. Several Fire Department personnel successfully rescued a third individual. Authorities said two others were injured, which include the jet skier, but were treated on the scene of the accident.
Commissioner Nigro said that while the cause of the crash has not yet been determined, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) would soon arrive on the scene to investigate. The FAA's National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said that it would investigate the crash but noted its personnel would not be traveling to the area.
Officials of the Fire Department refused to identify the victims, but Commissioner Nigro revealed that the pilot was a local resident in the area that was fairly popular in the neighborhood as someone who flew often.
On Twitter, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio wrote about several details of the crash. He also called out to the people to send their regards to the victims and their families.
The pier where the aircraft crashed into was also near a children's play set, but authorities reported no injuries were discovered in the area, as reported by ABC7 New York.
One of the witnesses, Laura Balviso, said she and her family were sitting in their home and heard a loud boom. They initially thought the sound came from a truck crashing, but her cousins quickly went outside and discovered it was an aircraft.
The witnesses later observed several fire trucks rushing to the scene and saw officials dragging bodies out of the crash site. Balviso noted it was a frightening sight that she nor her family members had not seen their entire lives. She added they knew some of the victims and were hoping they were okay.
Later, authorities identified the woman who died was 61-year-old Maggie O'Neill, and the pilot was confirmed to be 61-year-old Giuseppe Oppedisano, who is the owner of a Queens restaurant.
The pilot and another passenger, who police only identified as a 66-year-old man, were already out of the aircraft when authorities arrived at the scene. According to a spokesperson for the New York City Fire Department, all three survivors were quickly rushed to the hospital to be treated.
According to NBC New York, the jet skier who saved a passenger was identified as Jarrett Schupak, who said he immediately hopped over the fence and quickly ran over to the crash site, ripped the windshield off, and pulled out one of the people trapped inside. Schupak suffered minor injuries during the rescue.