New York: Investigators on Sunday recovered the bodies of seven people killed in a mid-air collision of a New York sightseeing helicopter and a single-engine plane a day earlier.
Two bodies remained missing and a major search on the Hudson River between New York City and Hoboken, New Jersey was continuing, Debbie Hersman of the National Transportation Safety Board told reporters.
Divers on Saturday located the helicopter operated by Liberty sightseeing tours that was carrying five Italian tourists and a pilot.
The private single-engine Piper Saratoga - carrying the pilot, an adult and a child - had not yet been recovered. Hersman said on Sunday that sonar had detected several "promising targets" and would work toward the aircraft`s recovery.
Initial investigations showed the helicopter had sustained significant damage and several pieces were likely missing, Hersman said.
The helicopter took off about noon Saturday from a heliport on 30th Street for the sightseeing tour as the Piper was making its way south along the Hudson from the Teterboro airport outside New York City toward Ocean City, New Jersey.
Hersman said on Saturday that another Liberty helicopter pilot saw the approaching accident and tried to warn the pilot, before seeing the plane make contact with the helicopter.
The debris fell into the Hudson River somewhat north of the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbour.