News

Helicopter crashes near Seattle Space Needle; 2 dead

Helicopter crashes near Seattle Space Needle; 2 dead

CHOPPER CRASH: A Seattle news helicopter crashed outside of the Space Needle, killing the two people who were aboard. Photo: Reuters

By Bryan Cohen

SEATTLE (Reuters) – A news helicopter crashed and burst into flames in downtown Seattle on Tuesday, killing two people on board and setting cars on fire in a popular tourist area near the Space Needle, police and fire officials said.

The chopper appears to have fallen to the street during an attempt to take off from a helipad atop a local television news station located a short distance from the Space Needle, Seattle Fire Department spokesman Kyle Moore told reporters.

Two people were found dead in the wreckage of the helicopter when emergency responders arrived at the scene. The occupants of three vehicles that had caught fire in the street following the crash managed to get out of their vehicles, although one was in critical condition, Moore said.

Local television station KOMO, an ABC affiliate, said the fallen aircraft was one of its news helicopters.

“KOMO chopper crash appears to have taken lives of our colleagues on board,” Keith Eldridge, a reporter and anchor with the station, said on his Twitter page.

The crash, which left burning helicopter fuel streaming down the street, occurred not far from Seattle’s famed Space Needle, located in a popular tourist area that also hosts a children’s museum and the Pacific Science Center.

Photos posted online by KOMO showed bright flames and towering smoke rising from cars at the scene.

Video news footage after the fire had been extinguished showed a pickup truck and a compact car, both charred and with their windows blown out amid fire retardant foam in the street.

‘HANGING ON TO LIFE’

Emergency responders set up a tent over the burned frame of the helicopter with the two dead occupants inside, and the tail of the chopper had been flung several feet away.

A 37-year-old man, who was on fire, crawled out of one car and was transported in critical condition to a local hospital, said Moore, who added that the man had burns over 50 percent of his body.

“That person is hanging on to life,” he said.

A woman who walked away from another vehicle that was burned in the crash made her way to a local police station and appeared to be in good shape, he said.

Witnesses said the driver of the pickup truck walked to a nearby McDonald’s restaurant, but firefighters have not been able to locate him, Moore said.

“We want to make sure that individual is OK,” he said.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration will investigate the crash, said Seattle police spokeswoman, Detective Renee Witt, who added that her agency would not probe the crash.

Authorities did not immediately release the identities of those who were killed.

“The engine (of the chopper) made a pretty deep noise … and about two seconds after that I heard the boom,” witness Daniel Gonzalez told KOMO.

(Additional reporting by Jonathan Kaminsky in Olympia, Wash.; Writing by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Bernadette Baum)

Recent Headlines

in Music

CHART TOPPERS: This week’s top pop songs

magic

LISTEN: This week's top pop songs, according to the latest Billboard chart.

in Entertainment

WATCH: 10 best ‘Simpsons’ episodes

In this photo released by Fox, Homer explains why he wants to bring back the annual 4th of July fireworks display, after it's cancelled for budget reasons, in the "Yellow Badge of Cowardge" Season Finale episode of "The Simpsons," in May 2014. The full 25-year run of "The Simpsons" will arrive on cable channel FXX with a summer marathon, to be paired this fall with a digital extravaganza that could turn other TV shows yellow with envy. "I'm not going to over-promise, but I think this website will provide you with affordable health care," longtime "Simpsons" executive producer Al Jean told a TV critics' meeting Monday, July 21, 2014.

The recent marathon of all 552 episodes of "The Simpsons" inspired us to sit down and come up with our 10 favorite episodes. Enjoy!

in Music

Miley Cyrus pays homeless friend’s legal fees

Miley Cyrus arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014, in Inglewood, Calif.

Miley Cyrus has offered to pay the legal fees for a homeless young man she took to the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday.

in Entertainment

Lena Dunham and Kate Mara hit by a falling sign

Lena Dunham, of HBO's "Girls," arrives at the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards held at The Nokia Theatre  in Los Angeles.

The "Girls" and "House of Cards" actresses saw stars of their own after an accident at a Venice premiere.

in Lifestyle

Rice replaces ice in India bucket challenge

An Indian school boy eats a midday meal provided free at a government school in Hyderabad, India, Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013. India has offered free midday school meals since the 1960s in an effort to persuade poor parents to send their children to school, a program that reaches some 120 million children. The country now plans to subsidize wheat, rice and cereals for some 800 million people under a $20 billion scheme to cut malnutrition and ease poverty.

The famous "ice bucket" challenge is inspiring thousands of Indians to follow suit, but with a twist - they are replacing ice with rice to help the country's hungry people.

Weather

condition Condition: Partly Cloudy
Temperature: 68°
High: 78° - Low: 51°