At Least 2 Dead As Helicopter Crashes Into New York City's East River
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Passenger's Bag Suspected To Be Cause Of Deadly NYC Helicopter Crash

One of the passengers bags may have hit the fuel shutoff button in the crash that killed 5 people. 

A deadly helicopter crash in New York may have been caused by a passenger's bag, police have reported.

Of five, there were no surviving passengers after a chopper from the Liberty Helicopters company crashed into the East River on Sunday (Mar. 7). While two were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, the other three died at hospitals nearby. The sole survivor was the helicopter’s pilot, Richard “Rick” Vance.

The victims included firefighter Brian McDaniel and video journalist Trevor Cadigan both from Dallas; Carla Vallejos Blanco, a tourist from Argentina and two helicopter employees, Tristan Hill and Daniel Thompson. Friends say Cadigan worked for Business Insider and was planning on a photoshoot the day of the crash.

The red Eurocopter AS350 was taking a common tour of the sky, one taken many times before. But the sightseeing sky tour went awry, the helicopter's rotors whipping the water as it sunk inverted. Witnesses used words like “surreal” to describe the helicopters gradual, then swift descent into the water before crashing. Residents of Roosevelt Island and those dining on the water had front row seats to the incident but were captured by paralysis and an inability to save the aircraft as it landed in the middle of the 50-foot-deep river.

Bystanders took videos and photos of the crash.

Currents were at 5 miles per hour and the water temperature was below 40 degrees, FDNY Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro said at a conference. The unfortunate circumstances most likely caused cold shock responses, resulting in possible involuntary inhalation of the water (drowning) or a heart attack, due to vasoconstriction, on impact.

The reason behind the crash appeared the turning of the fuel shutoff button, which might've been switched by one of the passenger's bags.

The only person on the aircraft with access to the safety protocol in a situation like this one was Vance who “freed himself,” according to ABC News. As is normal for trips of this nature, the passengers were all tightly harnessed when the helicopter was submerged.

The helicopter capsized shortly after 7 p.m., the New York Times reports. Emergency responders got to the site as quickly as possible but the first person was not rescued, swathed in a blanket, and placed in the back of an ambulance until 8 p.m. The same was done for three passengers about an hour later.

The company has not yet responded to requests for comment.

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Solange Announces Performance Piece 'Witness!' Will Premiere In September

Solange is the composer and director of a special performance piece titled "Witness!" The piece will be performed on September 17 at Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, Germany.

"So excited to announce “Witness!” a special performance piece composed and directed by myself at the phenomenal @elbphilharmonie (photo’d here:)," she wrote on Instagram to accompany a photo of the event flyer, which features the picturesque venue. Tickets for the performance go on sale on May 31.

The Houston native is no stranger to elaborate stage productions and intricate, detail-driven performances. She's performed in places such as the Guggenheim and Marfa's Chinati Foundation, so we're sure "Witness!" will be one to remember.

Earlier this year, Solange dropped her performance slot at the Coachella Music and Arts Festival, citing "major production delays" as the cause for cancellation. "She sends her sincerest apologies, and looks forward to performing at Coachella in the future," the official Coachella Twitter page read.

The performance coincides with the release of her latest studio-album, When I Get Home. Check out her announcement below.


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so excited to announce “Witness!” a special performance piece composed and directed by myself at the phenomenal @elbphilharmonie (photo’d here:) tickets on sale friday may 31 🖤!

A post shared by @ saintrecords on May 23, 2019 at 5:10pm PDT

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Drake Riles Up Fans After Toronto Raptors’ Game 5 Win

Drake is going viral for his latest display of hometown affection. The Toronto Raptors’ global ambassador unleashed his excitement behind the NBA team’s Game 5 win (May 23), and gave an impassioned post-game speech ahead of Saturday's match-up against the Milwaukee Bucks.

“We have the best player, we have the best fans in the whole NBA, in the whole world,” Drake said. “Look around you, look at this. We created this. This didn’t exist before we were here. Look around at the square. I promise you right now, we did this. Doesn’t matter what anybody says. They can say it’s disrespectful, they can say it’s this and that; everybody’s within the rules, everybody’s doing their thing. All we are is proud and passionate. We are like a college sports team. The Toronto Raptors are a college sports team, I promise you. I love Toronto, I love this team and we’re going to the NBA Finals.”

The Views rapper's passionate display arrives days after sports commentators and viewers discussed his court-side actions. Even ESPN's Stephen A. Smith dissected Drizzy's fandom and highlighted other celebrities' gestures on the court.

On Thursday evening, the Raptors defeated the Bucks 105-99 to advance to a 3-2 Eastern Conference Finals standing. The win arrives after a double overtime matchup during Game 4. The Raptors will have home court advantage on Saturday (May 25). The team to reach four wins first will face-off against the reigning champions, the Golden State Warriors, who defeated the Houston Rockets within a six-game series.

After “weathering the storm,” Raptors’ small forward Kawhi Leonard said he’s looking forward to the series’ continuation. “We’re taking it one game at a time and I’m just excited we got the win tonight,” he said.

"I love Toronto, I love this team and we're going to the NBA Finals."

—Drake after Game 5

(via @WISN12News)

— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 24, 2019

"We play in an American league and I promise you a Canadian team is going to the NBA Finals."

Drake spoke to the fans in Toronto after the Game 5 win. (via @turcottespencer)

— ESPN (@espn) May 24, 2019

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Netflix's 'The Black Godfather' Follows The Story Of Legend Clarence Avant

Netflix is gearing up to release a documentary that dives into the history of a music legend. The forthcoming film, entitled, The Black Godfather, will tackle the legendary career and legacy of music industry executive, Clarence Avant.

The trailer debuted on Thursday (May 23), featuring a handful of all-star cameos. Quincy Jones, Snoop Dogg, Ludacris, Barack Obama, Diddy, and more spoke about Avant's star power.

"There’s the power that needs the spotlight, but there’s also the power behind the scenes," Barack Obama says in the trailer.

Diddy also noted Avant's influence. "He became that mentor for us all, he became that godfather," he said.

Clarence Avant is a music executive, entrepreneur, and film producer. He is usually referred to as the "Godfather of Black Music" and was known to defy widespread racism in the 1960s and influence all aspects of the music industry.

The Black Godfather documentary will hit Netflix on June 7. Watch the trailer in the video above.

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