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Dallas firefighter among 5 dead in NYC helicopter crash

Marine units are seen on the East River on Sunday night looking east toward Queens

The five passengers killed Sunday when the helicopter they were riding in crashed into New York City's East River included two childhood friends, a choral singer, a tourist from Argentina and a basketball enthusiast planning to get married in May.

Brian McDaniel, a two-year veteran of DFR who was assigned to Station 36, was in NY, visiting close high school friend Trevor Cadigan over the weekend, when the two boarded a Eurocopter AS350 hired for a private photo shoot Sunday evening. Officer McDaniel, 26, was an nearly two-year member of the Dallas Fire-Rescue Department, and was assigned to Fire Station 36, on the C-shift.

They say he was not married, nor had children, but is survived by his father who lives in Dallas, and his mother and older brother who live in the Denver metro area.

"Hearts are heavy with grief as we not only try to come to grips with his loss departmentally; but to also be there in every way that we can for his family", Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans said in a statement.

McDaniel had served almost two years as a fire rescue officer with the Dallas Fire-Rescue Department, according to the department's spokesman Jason Evans.

The National Transportation Safety Board dispatched investigators on Monday. "So it was truly a joyful moment".

The pilot was able to free himself and was rescued by a tugboat after the crash.

Cadigan, 26, worked for Business Insider in NY after attending SMU and majoring in journalism.

McDaniel was visiting his friend in the city for some sightseeing.

Cadigan was the son of Jerry Cadigan, the production manager for WFAA in Dallas, and had interned at WFAA previously.

Michelle Longoria taught Trevor Cadigan journalism in his sophomore year at Bishop Lynch. Cadigan was a graduate of SMU.

"I had no idea that would be the last time I saw Brian, that's for sure".

Emergency divers had to remove the passengers from tight harnesses within the vehicle, which was knocked upside-down under the water.

It's unclear what caused Sunday's deadly crash.

5 On Your Side looked into the history of Liberty Helicopters, the company that chartered the flight that crashed into the Hudson.