Two die in helicopter crash in central London
A HELICOPTER crashed during rush hour on Wednesday in central London, killing two people, after apparently hitting a construction crane on top of a building, police said.
The helicopter crashed just south of the River Thames near the Underground and mainline train station at Vauxhall, not far from British spy agency MI6.
"Two people have been confirmed dead at the scene. We have no further details," police said in a statement. Two others were taken to hospital.
Police also said there was no indication the crash was linked to terrorism.
A photo shown on Sky News showed wreckage burning in a street, and a large plume of black smoke was seen rising in the area. Video from the crash scene showed a line of flaming fuel and debris.
The London Fire Brigade said it was called to a report of a crash on Wandsworth Road on the south bank of the Thames.
"There was a flash and the helicopter plunged to the ground. It exploded and you can imagine the smoke coming out of it," Paul Ferguson, an office worker near the scene, told BBC News.
Erin Rogers, who was waiting at a bus stop near Vauxhall Station, said she "heard a bang and saw bits of crane debris falling to the floor".
"Then the helicopter was in flames," she said. "The rest of the people at the bus station were looking on, going, ‘What was that?’"
Police said the helicopter appeared to have hit a crane. Early reports indicated the crane was at St George’s Wharf, a high-rise apartment complex with apartments that offer sweeping river and city views.
The area, roughly 10 blocks from the major Waterloo train and Underground station, is extremely congested during the morning rush hour. Many commuters arrive at the main line stations from London’s southern suburbs and transfer to buses or trains there.
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