2 Dead After News Helicopter Crashes Outside TV Station In Seattle

By: Associated Press News Email
By: Associated Press News Email

CBS Seattle News Copy

SEATTLE (CBS Seattle/AP) — The Seattle Fire Department says the two people killed when a KOMO-TV news helicopter crashed Tuesday morning outside its station near the Space Needle were inside the chopper.

Seattle Fire Department spokesman Kyle Moore says in addition to the fatalities, a 37-year-old man who managed to free himself from a car at the accident scene was taken to Harborview Medical Center in critical condition.


KOMO anchor Kelly Koopmans tweeted that a witness told the station that one person was on fire while crawling out of a car.


The station says the helicopter apparently was lifting off from its rooftop when it possibly hit the side of the building and went down, hitting several vehicles on Broad Street.

The helicopter and cars exploded in flames.

Plumes of black smoke rose from the crash scene as rescue vehicles converged on the area.

“It just blew up instantly,” witness Chris McOlgan told KOMO. “Nothing could have been done.”

Koopmans said that only the helicopter’s tail and scattered pieces of debris remained.

Also among the wreckage were three burned-out cars.

An hour after the crash, firefighters had put out the fire and were cleaning up spilled fuel, which left a strong smell in the area.

In addition to being near the city’s iconic Space Needle in Seattle Center, the crash site is by the EMP Museum, the music and culture museum founded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Seattle Center is popular with tourists and locals, and is the site of many music and cultural festivals and sporting activities.

Other cities have experienced helicopter crashes as TV stations rush to cover the news from above major cities.

Two news helicopters collided in midair in Phoenix in 2007 as the aircraft covered a police chase, sending fiery wreckage plummeting onto a park. Four people in the helicopters were killed.

The crash prompted changes at the stations in how they operated their helicopter crews.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)



Eyewitness Captured this video of the crash:


News Release: Associated Press News

SEATTLE (AP) -- Two people were killed when a news helicopter for KOMO-TV crashed outside its station near the Seattle Space Needle, sending clouds of black smoke over the city during the morning rush hour.

The Seattle Fire Department said in addition to the fatalities, a 37-year-old man who managed to free himself from a car at the accident scene was taken to Harborview Medical Center in critical condition. No other details were immediately available.

The station says the copter was apparently lifting off from its rooftop Tuesday morning when it possibly hit the side of the building and went down, hitting several vehicles on Broad Street.

The copter and cars exploded in flames.

Plumes of black smoke rose from the crash scene as rescue vehicles converged on the area.


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