11 June 2019

Law firms in helicopter horror

Memories of 9/11

New York helicopter crash-lands on Sidley and Willkie offices in early afternoon tragedy, firm safely deploys emergency proocols.

A helicopter crash-landed on the roof of a Manhattan skyscraper, tragically killing the pilot. Law firms Sidley Austin, Willkie Farr were among businesses with offices in building and all personnel were safely evacuated.

Emergency protocols

Both firms said they activated emergency procedures and personnel were evacuated form the AXA Equitable tower at 787 Seventh Avenue. A Sidley spokeswoman said, “It’s our understanding that the building has been successfully evacuated, along with all Sidley personnel. We executed our emergency protocols and are actively managing the situation,” A Willkie spokeswoman also confirmed “the entire building was evacuated.” Speaking to Bloomberg, Willkie partner Randall Jackson said he was at his desk on the 34th floor when the copter hit the roof in the early afternoon. “I was just sitting doing work and we felt the entire building just jolt.” Fire officials said the pilot, who was killed, was the lone occupant of the copter that was destroyed in the crash landing and fire, according to Bloomberg. The weather were poor, with visibility was little more than a mile and low cloud cover of 700 feet.

9/11 memories

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said that no one in the building at the time of the crash was injured. BNP Paribas SA, and Stifel Nicolaus and UBS Group AG are among other tenants of the building. Investigators are trying to determine if he had been trying to make an emergency landing. The incident called to mind of  Sept. 11, 2001 and the destruction of the World Trade Center. Mr. Cuomo said, “If you’re a New Yorker, you have a level of PTSD, right, from 9/11,” adding “I remember that morning all too well.” The crash was the second within a month involving a helicopter reigniting a debate about increased restrictions on helicopters flying over such a densely populated area.

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