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UPDATE: News Helicopter Crashes Near Space Needle, 2 Dead

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

UPDATE: Tues 1:39 PM, Mar 18, 2014

SEATTLE (AP) -- A Seattle TV station has identified the two people killed in a news helicopter crash near the Space Needle.

The fiery wreck happened Tuesday morning as the KOMO-TV helicopter took off from the station. The chopper went down on Broad Street and hit three vehicles, starting them on fire and spewing burning fuel down the street.

The fire department says a 38-year-old man in one of the vehicles was taken to Harborview Medical Center in critical condition.

Hospital spokeswoman Susan Gregg says the man suffered burns on up to 20 percent of his body and likely will require surgery.

KOMO said on the air that the pilot of the helicopter was Gary Pfitzner.

The other man killed was Bill Strothman, a former longtime KOMO photographer who was working for the helicopter leasing company.

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UPDATE: Tues 11:57 AM, Mar 18, 2014

SEATTLE (AP) -- The Seattle Fire Department says the two people killed when a KOMO-TV news helicopter crashed Tuesday morning outside its station near the Space Needle were inside the chopper.

Seattle Fire Department spokesman Kyle Moore says in addition to the fatalities, a 37-year-old man who managed to free himself from a car at the accident scene was taken to Harborview Medical Center in critical condition.

The station says the helicopter apparently was lifting off from its rooftop when it possibly hit the side of the building and went down, hitting several vehicles on Broad Street.

Moore says the crash will be investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration.

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ORIGINAL STORY: Tues 10:40 AM, Mar 18, 2014

SEATTLE (AP) -- A news helicopter for KOMO-TV has crashed outside its station near the Seattle Space Needle.

The station says the copter was apparently coming in for a landing on its rooftop Tuesday morning when it possibly hit the side of the building and went down, hitting several vehicles on Broad Street.

The copter and cars exploded in flames and casualties were reported.
People in the area reported seeing a huge cloud of smoke as firefighters and police responded.


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