Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 3 September 2014

NY copter crash claims second life

A helicopter that crashed into the East River in New York is hoisted from the water (AP)

A woman whose British partner was killed on a helicopter trip in New York has become the second person to die from the accident.

Helen Tamaki, 43, from New Zealand, died on Wednesday night from injuries suffered in the October 4 crash, a hospital spokesman said.

Her partner Sonia Marra was killed after the helicopter plunged into New York's East River during a trip a organised to celebrate Ms Marra's 40th birthday.

Ms Tamaki had been in a critical condition at Bellevue Hospital Centre in New York after the crash.

The couple had been travelling with Ms Marra's British mother and stepfather, Harriet and Paul Nicolson. Mrs Nicolson, 60, was also seriously injured in the crash, while the 56-year-old pilot and Mr Nicolson, 71, were released from hospital.

The helicopter was on a private tour when it crashed into the river shortly after taking off from the busy 34th Street Heliport.

Ms Marra, a UK expatriate living in Sydney, Australia, was visiting New York with her family to celebrate her birthday - a holiday reportedly arranged by Ms Tamaki as a surprise.

Mr and Mrs Nicholson live in Portugal and the group, who had met in New York, were also reportedly celebrating Mr Nicholson's birthday.

New York mayor Michael Bloomberg said it had been "a terrible accident" involving people who had come "to see the best of our city".

The crash of the Bell 206 helicopter, which was based in Linden, New Jersey, is being investigated.

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