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Woman killed as helicopter crashes on her 40th BIRTHDAY TRIP to NY

A helicopter carrying five people on a private tour for a birthday celebration crashed into the East River in New York shortly after take-off yesterday, killing one passenger and injuring three others.

The victim, Sonia Marra, had been visiting the city with her family to celebrate her 40th birthday. She was apparently trapped inside as the helicopter sank about 50ft (15m) below the surface of the swift-moving water.

New York Police Department divers pulled her body from the water about 90 minutes after the Bell 206 Jet Ranger went down.

Ms Marra, who lived in Australia, was on the trip with her mother and her mother's husband, and a friend. The group were friends of pilot Paul Dudley, who was trying to return to the heliport after the private aircraft ran into trouble.

hnews@herald.ie