Woman hurt in NY helicopter plunge

A WOMAN from Essex has been critically injured in a freak helicopter crash in New York during a sightseeing tour to celebrate her 40th birthday.Karen Butler, of Chelmsford, who was 40 on Tuesday, was left fighting for her life after swallowing a potentially lethal dose of aviation fuel when the chopper ditched in East River, New York.

A WOMAN from Essex has been critically injured in a freak helicopter crash in New York during a sightseeing tour to celebrate her 40th birthday.

Karen Butler, of Chelmsford, who was 40 on Tuesday, was left fighting for her life after swallowing a potentially lethal dose of aviation fuel when the chopper ditched in East River, New York.

She was taken to Bellevue Hospital, New York, where last night her condition had improved and she was said to be making "good progress".

The trip was organised by Karen's husband Gary Rugless to celebrate her birthday, according to his mother Christine Headland, who lives in Harlow.

The helicopter, with seven people on board, took off from Pier 11 on Manhattan's East River at 1.30pm local time (6.30pm UK time) on Tuesday.

Shortly afterwards it overturned, plunging its terrified British, French and Australian passengers into the water.

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