Two people were killed after a helicopter crashed into a construction crane and fell to the street in Central London this morning. The accident happened around 8:00 a.m. local time, near the Vauxhall Underground and train station, just south of the River Thames, near the New Covenant Garden and large Flower Market. The area is heavily trafficked during morning rush hour, but has been mostly cordoned off as rescuers and firefighters work to bring the scene under control.
Helicopter just hit our building in vauxhall twitter.com/craiglet/statu…— Craig Jenner (@craiglet) January 16, 2013
Witnesses and police say it appears that helicopter struck the crane on top of St. George's Wharf Tower, a 52-story skyscraper currently under construction, that will be one of the tallest in London when completed. There was heavy fog in London this morning, which likely contributed to the accident. The copter then fell to the street and exploded, igniting a large fire on the ground. The crane was also damaged and hanging loose, but appears to be still attached to the building, according to the BBC, which has more live updates.
At least nine other people were sent to local hospitals or treated on the scene, though it's unclear if any of the victims were in the helicopter or on the ground. (Update: Police now say the helicopter pilot died in the crash, and the other fatality was killed "nearby.") The copter may have been on its way to or had just left the nearby Battersea Heliport, about three miles away from the crash site.