Plane and helicopter collide in mid-air, fall into Hudson River

A small plane and a helicopter from Liberty Harbor Sightseeing Tours crashed into each other in mid-air today, falling into the Hudson River just off Manhattan’s Pier 40. Three fatalities have been confirmed – two adults and one child – with another six presumed dead in a CNN.

The two adults were passengers in the helicopter, which was carrying five Italian tourists and the pilot. The child is believed to have been a passenger on the plane, which had two other people aboard.

The accident occurred just before noon. The white Piper Saratoga PA-32’s right wing struck the rear rotor of the Liberty Harbor Europcopter AS350. Searches conducted throughout the afternoon yielded the three bodies by evening, with divers continuing to search for the other passengers and wreckage from the two aircraft. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said the crash was “not survivable.”

The helicopter has been located, but the plane has not yet been found. The recovery effort was concluded at 6:30 PM and is scheduled to resume tomorrow morning.

[Photo by morenom via Twitpic, CNN video after the jump]