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Helicopter Crashes Into Crane In London

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A helicopter has crashed into a crane in Vauxhall, south London, hitting two cars as it plummeted into the ground. Witnesses said the aircraft cartwheeled to the ground and exploded into flames.

Burning wreckage and aviation fuel covered the road and people have reported seeing cars on fire and hearing people scream. Pictures showed flames and a huge column of black smoke at the crash site just off Wandsworth Road near South Lambeth Road. Firefighters say the crane is now in a "precarious" position. It is not clear how many people are involved but Sky sources say there was only one person aboard the aircraft, which is believed to be an Augusta 109. The London City Airport in Docklands had delays earlier in the day due to poor visibility.

Witnesses said at least some 22 fire engines were at the scene, as well as police and ambulances. Sarah-Beth Casey lives in an apartment near the incident. She told Sky News: "You're always worried about things like 9/11 and things like that. When I heard the explosion - it was like a little earthquake. It was like a gas explosion. I looked up to see debris falling off the tower." A spokesman for London Fire Brigade was unable to give details but said: "We are taking lots of emergency calls at the moment."

A Met police spokesman said: "We had a call at approximately 8am this morning and we are dealing with an incident." The accident happened close to a railway line and train services were briefly suspended but are now running in and out of Waterloo station. Vauxhall station is closed.

http://news.sky.com/story/1038710/helicopter-crashes-into-crane-in-london

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Breaking News

Two people have been confirmed dead, two others injured and taken to hospital after helicopter crash

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Looks awful! I work where they make helicopters been speaking to some the people in the know and it sounds like he got lost and crashed in the fog (aparently there is only one safe route round). Terrible really!

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It seems that the car has been rather unfortunate to be in the wrong place at the wrong time :(

EDIT: 2 Dead, 9 injured, 1 critically ill

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Considering the number of helicopters buzzing around London for various reasons it was only a matter of time.

It sounds like they got off lightly in a way.

Presumably the 2 dead might be the pilots?

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Considering the number of helicopters buzzing around London for various reasons it was only a matter of time.

It sounds like they got off lightly in a way.

Presumably the 2 dead might be the pilots?

1 in the helicopter and 1 in the car I believe

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Light Freezing Fog reported at the time. The helicopter was probably struggling with icing and was unable to keep above the fog, this would explain the request to divert from Elstree to Battersea.

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Police confirm the pilot has been killed, and the other fatality was close to the helicopter crash site

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The police apparently raised concerns about that crane a few months ago. OK freezing fog hasn't helped today but seems it might have been an accident just waiting to happen?

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London helicopter crash pilot named as Pete Barnes

THE pilot of the helicopter which crashed in central London is a former Great North Air Ambulance pilot who had thousands of hours of flying experience including for films such as Die Another Day and Saving Private Ryan. Pete Barnes, who died when the helicopter he was flying hit a crane on a high building and crashed onto a street in Vauxhall, had amassed around 9,000 hours of flying time, including 3,500 hours on the type of craft he was piloting today. In a wide-ranging UK career spanning 18 years, he had done everything from flying air ambulances to working as a pilot on adverts, TV programmes and films including the James Bond film Die Another Day, Saving Private Ryan and Tomb Raider II.

He also flew the Newcastle Traffic & Travel helicopter as the Voice of Metro FM and worked as a helicopter instructor. In 2004 he helped rescue a motorist from flooded Stanhope Ford in County Durham, while working for the Great North Air Ambulance. Kevin Hodgson, Director of Operations at the Great North Air Ambulance Service, worked alongside Captain Barnes for several years, flying on life-saving missions across the North. Capt Barnes stopped working with the charity about four years ago.

http://www.thenorthe...mbulance_pilot/

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Details have been published of the final moments of the helicopter which crashed in Vauxhall last week. An accident report revealed the client who had booked the flight repeatedly asked the pilot to delay take off. Capt Pete Barnes was killed in the crash along with a pedestrian. Aviation expert David Learmont said the crash was about visibility.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-21173784

Provisional report here:

http://www.aaib.gov.uk/cms_resources.cfm?file=/AAIB%20S1-2013%20G-CRST.pdf

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