Seattle news helicopter crash kills 2 near Space Needle

The KOMO 4 television news helicopter has crashed in Seattle, near the city’s iconic Space Needle, killing two people on board and critically injuring one man in a car.

Eyewitnesses said the helicopter had just taken off from a helipad on the fifth floor of the KOMO 4 television station on 400 Broad St in downtown Seattle when it appeared to rotate and tumble nose-first to the ground around 7:40 a.m. PT.

When it hit, the helicopter landed on one car and spilled aviation fuel down the street. The ensuing fireball engulfed one pickup truck and another car and sent a large plume of black smoke up into the sky over Seattle during the morning rush hour.

Emergency crews were on the scene immediately, and the fire was extinguished within minutes.

Survivors escaped from vehicles

A 37-year-old man managed to escape from the car that was caught in the crash. Witnessed reported after he jumped out he rolled on the ground to try to put out the flames on his body.

He was taken to hospital with critical injuries. KOMO TV reported he suffered burns to about half of his body.

Seattle helicopter crash Komo

Crews had the fire out quickly after the crash (Twitter/KOMO)

The drivers of two other vehicles caught in the fire reportedly walked away from the scene. Police are still looking for the driver of the white pickup, while the other walked into a nearby police station, according to officials.

No official causes for the accident have been released by any officials, but because the crash occurred during the morning rush hour, there were many eyewitnesses.

Some reported the helicopter engine was making an unusual rumbling sound just before the crash. Others have said the helicopter may have clipped a building after taking off, KOMO has reported.

Seattle fire officials said the fire is out and the investigation into the cause has begun.

The identities of those killed haven’t been released, but KOMO TV is reporting they were employees of that TV station. (The helicopter was also shared with Seattle’s KING 5 TV.)

Emergency crews and investigators are on the scene, and the area was closed to traffic.

Google Map: Seattle Space Needle

YouTube: Video of the crash

Twitter: KOMO News

Twitter: Seattle Fire

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