helicopter crash
The wreckage of a chartered Liberty Helicopters' chopper that crashed into the East River is hoisted from the water in New York, March 12, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

A military helicopter's rotor blades collided with the control tower at Griffiss International Airport, New York, around 11:05 p.m. EDT Thursday evening, according to Oneida County Sheriff’s Office.

The helicopter, based at Fort Drum in Watertown, was carrying six soldiers who sustained minor injuries. The tower was unmanned at the time of the incident and remained functioning as it had only minimal damage, WKTV reported.

The aircraft was not airborne at the time of the collision and was practicing touch-and-gos at the airport. It remained upright at the base of the tower after the crash.

Oneida County Sheriff Department, New York State Police, Amcare Ambulance and Rome Police and Fire departments rushed to the spot and cautioned the resident to stay away from the area of 592 Hangar Road at Griffiss International Airport following an investigation into a crash.

The accident will be investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board, County Executive Anthony Picente said. Apart from Picente, County Director of Emergency Services Kevin Revere and County Aviation Commissioner Chad Lawrence were also present at the scene to investigate the crash.

The airport remained open but ticketing and gate operations were affected due to a power outage. The airport is expected to be fully operational on Friday.

In March, five people died after a helicopter crashed into New York’s East River. The helicopter capsized and flipped as its rotor blades slapped at the water.

The pilot managed to free himself and was rescued. Witnesses said the helicopter was flying noisily, then suddenly dropped into the water and quickly submerged.

The pilot told investigators that a passenger's piece of luggage may have caused the crash. A senior law enforcement officer said a passenger's bags might have accidentally hit the emergency fuel shutoff button, leading to the crash.

A preliminary investigation report on the incident said passengers drowned because they were unable to open the harnesses on time. However, the pilot said he provided a safety briefing to the passengers before takeoff.

"The fuel flow control lever was found in the off position. The fuel shutoff lever was found in the open position,” the report said adding that the plane's engine was not impacted by oil or fuel leaks.

"We are focused on supporting the families affected by this tragic accident and on fully cooperating with the FAA and NTSB investigations. These agencies have asked us to respect the investigative process by referring all press inquiries to them for any further comment," Liberty Helicopter Tours, who owned the chopper, said at that time, CNN reported.