Investigators examine wreckage, evidence after fatal news helicopter crash

The investigation into KOMO-TV’s Air 4 crash continues as makeshift memorials to the two men killed grow.
 
National Transportation Safety Board investigators tell KIRO 7 they’re reconstructing the evidence and wreckage at a secure hangar in Auburn.
 
They’ve already requested the documents and full flight records, as well as summoned the representatives from the companies who manufacture the chopper and its motor.
 
The crash happened around 7:40 a.m. Tuesday, right after the Eurocopter AS350 had refueled at KOMO-TV’s Fisher Plaza.
 
Investigators say it was headed back to its home hangar for storage.
 
Aboard were veteran news-gatherers Bill Strothman and Gary Pfitzner, the photographer and pilot respectively.

Click here to see photos of Pfitzner and Strothman
 
A table of flowers keeps growing in the lobby of Fisher Plaza, and flowers are also being placed near the crash site on Broad Street.
 
“I walk by all the time and I’ve always seen the helicopter lift of when I’m walking home or walking to work. It’s surprising to know that it’s not going to be there right now,” said passerby Jason Stucky.
 
Grass has been dug out as part of the investigation, and shards of glass litter the lawn of the Space Needle.
 
The Space Needle, a popular tourist destination in downtown Seattle, closed yesterday as a result of the crash but resumed its normal hours Wednesday morning.
 
The annual Starbucks shareholder meeting took place as scheduled at Seattle Center at 10 a.m.
 
But the proximity of the event, and the thought that the crash could have happened one day later and endangered the nearly 2,500 attendees, doesn’t escape some.
 
“It could have been horrific, thankfully there was only one other person injured,” says attendee Andrea Orive.
 
Near the crash site, Alvin Graham Jr. stood watch, carrying an American flag that he says is a sign of Seattle coming together in times of tragedy.
 
“I had to search my heart for really who I am and realize that it’s our community. It’s a family,” Graham said.

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