Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 6°C

Search

Video: Two die after helicopter crashes into London crane and bursts into flames

PUBLISHED: 14:00 16 January 2013 | UPDATED: 14:02 16 January 2013

A general view of the scene where a helicopter crashed in central London, after hitting a crane on top of a tower block by the River Thames.

A general view of the scene where a helicopter crashed in central London, after hitting a crane on top of a tower block by the River Thames.

TWO people died today when a helicopter crashed into a crane in central London and cartwheeled to the ground.

The stricken aircraft exploded into flames after hitting the crane, on top of a tower block by the River Thames, before crashing into a street during rush hour.

Burning wreckage and aviation fuel covered the road as witnesses reported seeing cars on fire and hearing people screaming.

The Metropolitan Police said two people died at the scene and two had been taken to hospital.

The crane was on top of a building called The Tower, in the St George Wharf development, and is billed to be one of Europe’s tallest residential towers.

The building is only a few hundred metres from MI6 and is situated on a busy roundabout.

Eyewitness Michael Gavin saw the accident while he was standing at Vauxhall station.

“I was facing the building when it happened and I heard a loud bang,” he told BBC News.

“The top of the crane was actually obscured by fog so I didn’t see the impact. But I heard a bang and saw the body of the helicopter falling to the ground along with pieces of the crane and then a large plume of smoke afterwards.”

Erin Rogers was waiting at a bus stop outside Vauxhall station.

He told BBC News: “It was a bit surreal actually. I just had a coffee in my hand, I looked up, heard a bang and saw bits of crane debris falling to the floor.

“Then the helicopter was in flames. The rest of the people at the bus station were looking on going ‘What was that?’.

“It’s something I will never forget for a long time.”

Chris Yates, an independent aviation expert, told Sky News: “Helicopters are not supposed to come within 500 feet of any structure such as a high-rise building, so we don’t know what caused the pilot to get quite so close.

“We don’t know the circumstances he was operating in at the time - whether there was a problem with the helicopter itself, whether he misread his instructions or received false instructions from air traffic control.”

Related articles

This is the last week that market traders will operate from Ipswich’s Cornhill for at least a year as work to rebuild the town centre is due to start.

Drivers are being warned they could face delays as roadworks begin at one of Ipswich’s busiest junctions this morning.

James Blunt and Plan B have joined this year’s Newmarket Nights line-up.

Police are at the scene of a crash on the A1071 near Hintlesham this evening.

A super slimmer from Colchester told she was a ticking time bomb at 32 stone is enjoying a new lease of life – after shedding half her body weight.

Police are appealing for witnesses after an elderly woman reported being robbed in Haverhill on Friday.

The body of a man found near Leavenheath this afternoon is believed to be that of missing Richard Hull, police have confirmed.

Most read

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

London Boat Show 2018

cover

Click here to view
London Boat
Show supplement

View

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24