The crash happened at 51st Street and 7th Avenue, near Times Square.
The FDNY deployed more 100 emergency workers to the scene, where the crash caused a fire on top of the struck building.
In a press conference in the area, New York governor Andrew Cuomo said: ”The only indication was a helicopter had to do an emergency, or a hard landing, or crashed onto the rooftop of a building, causing a fire. There’s no indication of anything more than that.”
Mr Cuomo also said: “If you’re a New Yorker, you have a level of PTSD from 9/11. So as soon as you hear, an aircraft hit a building, I think my mind goes where every New Yorker goes.”
Traffic has been blocked off in the surrounding streets, and police have asked people to stay away from the area as first responders operate.
Kathleen Bergen, spokesperson for the Federal Aviation Administration, said the pilot was the only person aboard the helicopter, based on preliminary information. She said the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash and determine its cause.
“FAA air traffic controllers did not handle the flight,” she said.
Donald Trump has been briefed on the helicopter crash is monitoring the situation, according to White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley.
New York City mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at a press conference alongside FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro and NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill in the aftermath.
“There is no indication at this time that this was an act of terror, and there is no ongoing threat to New York City,” Mr de Blasio said. “There is no danger of any kind to New Yorkers at this point. One person died in this helicopter crash, that person is presumed to be the pilot. We do not know the cause. There are no other injuries that we know of at this time.”
“The First Responders performed an extraordinary effort,” he continued. “This was a very challenging situation. The FDNY did an exceptional job.”
Mr Nigro said the fire has been extinguished.
“There was some amount of fuel leak, which we mitigated,” Mr Nigro said. ”Right now, the building is safe.”
A spokesperson for BNP Paribas, the company in the building where the helicopter crashed, said staff have been evacuated and are safe.
The aircraft was a privately-owned Agusta A109E helicopter. It is unclear why it was flying this route. The weather in New York has been rainy throughout the day.
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