NYPD divers and the Army Corps of Engineers managed to raise some of the wreckage of the small plane that crashed into a helicopter this past Saturday. Two more bodies were recovered, meaning that all nine victims' bodies have been found; three were on the plane while six were on the sightseeing helicopter. The Hudson River's murky conditions have been an obstacle to divers during the recovery effort; they explained to the Times they have been doing much of the search by touch.
NTSB Chairwoman Deborah Hersman explained, "We're looking for any evidence of any impact, any witness marks, damage to the aircraft that might be consistent with the collision, so we can determine what the impact point is. The investigators are going to be looking to see if everything was working, if there was power coming from the engine at the time. We are conducting a very thorough investigation. We're going to be looking at everything and documenting everything."
As the debate about tour helicopters continues, Italian officials have opened a manslaughter investigation into the incident, which claimed the lives of five Italian tourists who were on the helicopter. Sivia Rigamonti, whose husband and son died, said, "I want to know everything. I want there to be a full investigation. It's not possible that such things should happen." And the NTSB said it had warned the FAA about helicopter dangers before.
The audio and transcripts of frantic 911 calls from the day of the incident were released—one man told an operator, And Liberty Tours, which operated the helicopter involved in the crash, "I just saw an airplane hit a helicopter in the Hudson River here! Yeah, it was struck by a small plane and the helicopter went straight down, and I'm not sure what happened to the plane." Liberty Tours, which operated the helicopter in the crash, resumed sightseeing tours today.