2 killed in helicopter crash in central London

2 killed in helicopter crash in central London

At least two people were killed and 11 others injured when a helicopter crashed into a crane on top of one of Europe's tallest residential blocks in central London and plunged to the ground in a ball of flame during rush hour today.

The helicopter was reported to have been carrying a pilot but no passengers. It struck the ground just 20 yards from Vauxhall station, a major commuting hub in the capital.

One witness said the helicopter struck the side of the St George Wharf Tower, Britain's tallest block of flats currently under-construction, near the river Thames, as it fell to the ground. The fate of the pilot is not known.

"Two people have died and 11 taken to hospital. Details are awaited," a Metropolitan Police spokesman told PTI.

At least two cars were hit by debris from the crash.

A motorist is in hospital after being rescued from a burning car by fire crews.

The helicopter involved is believed to be an Augusta 109 model.

Eight fire engines, four fire rescue units and around 60 firefighters were at the crash site with the police and ambulances.

Burning wreckage lay in the road but firefighters have brought the fire under control.

The police said in a statement that they had been alerted at approximately 8 am (local time) this morning to an incident at Wandsworth Road.

"At this early stage it appears a helicopter was in a collision with a crane on top of a building. Met officers, the ambulance service and the London Fire Brigade have attended," a Metropolitan Police statement said.

Dense black smoke was billowing from the area after the helicopter spiralled to the ground in what eyewitnesses told Sky News looked like "a massive ball of flame".
Soon after the accident, the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) began its probe.

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