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March 18, 2014 at 7:55 AM

2 die in news helicopter crash at KOMO-TV

Smoke is still rising from the site where a KOMO TV helicopter fell to the ground during take-off this morning (Photo by Brian Rosenthal / The Seattle Times)

Firefighters stand next to the site where a KOMO TV helicopter fell to the ground during take-off this morning (Photo by Brian Rosenthal / The Seattle Times)

UPDATE: All further updates on the crash can be found here.

PREVIOUS POST:  At least two people died this morning when a KOMO-TV helicopter crashed on the street outside Fisher Plaza.

The two who died were on the helicopter, according to Seattle Fire Department spokesman Kyle Moore.

The helicopter, which apparently was taking off, dropped to the ground, landing on at least one car. A second car and a pickup were on fire when firefighters arrived, but it isn’t clear if they had been hit by the helicopter, according to the fire department.

One person in one of the cars, a 37-year-old man, was taken in critical condition to the hospital. Two others perished, the fire department said. He suffered burns over 50 percent of his body, Moore said.

A woman in the second car walked away from the crash scene but later appeared at the police department’s West precinct. The man in the pickup left the area before anyone could talk with him, Moore said. They are looking for him.

Chris McColgan, 26, lives a couple blocks west of crash, said he was driving west on Broad Street, stopped at the light on John Street, just two cars ahead of where the helicopter came down.

Because he was stopped at the light, he saw the helicopter fall from the helipad atop the KOMO building.

“It just blew up instantly,” McColgan said.

“The crazy thing is, the movies get it exactly right. It’s that big … It felt like a movie. It still feels like a movie.”

Other eyewitnesses told KOMO radio that fuel from the crashed helicopter ran down Broad Street, causing at least one woman to jump out of her car and flee the scene. The fuel burst into flame, sending thick clouds of black smoke into the air near the Space Needle.

KOMO staff members reported that the fireball from the crashed copter could be seen from their newsroom. They said that an hour after the crash, staff members remained dazed, some sitting at their desks with their heads in their hands.

Comments | More in General news, The Blotter | Topics: helicopter crash, komo-tv, two dead


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