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Helicopter Crashes During London Rush Hour, At Least Two Dead

BBC, SKY NEWS, THE GUARDIAN (UK)

Worldcrunch

LONDON - A helicopter crashed during London's morning rush hour on Wednesday, killing two people and wounding 11 others.

The incident happened at St George’s Wharf on the River Thames near Vauxhall, in southern London. According to The Guardian the helicopter hit a crane on a building site.

Scotland Yard has confirmed two deaths so far in the crash and 11 other people have been taken to hospital. Of the two fatalities, one was travelling in the helicopter and of the eleven injured, only one is critically injured.

The Guardian reports that Metropolitan Police have evacuated offices around the scene as the crane is in a “precarious position.” BBC reports that the RNLI (Lifeboat Services) are now searching the river after reported sightings of a person.

Aviation expert, Chris Yates told Sky News that any tall structure must have a warning light on top to alert pilots. The question is whether there was a warning light on the crane and whether the pilot would have been able to see it in the foggy conditions this morning. The circumstances are not yet known – whether there was a problem with the helicopter itself, or whether the pilot misread his instructions or received false instructions from air traffic control.

The incident occurred shortly after 8 A.M. local time, and many commuters witnessed the incident. A train happened to be crossing the bridge at the same time as the crash, with a lot of people posting pictures and videos on social media sites. Many told the BBC that a huge explosion was heard and then they saw a ball of fire.

Mad! RT @oog: Here's a very clear picture of the crane at #vauxhalltwitter.com/Oog/status/291…

— Jme (Jamie Adenuga) (@JmeBBK) January 16, 2013

Heard a massive bang, major fire on Wandsworth Rd, police, fire brigade everywhere.Roads closed #Vauxhall#NineElmstwitter.com/ColinDKavanagh…

— Colin Kavanagh (@ColinDKavanagh) January 16, 2013

#vauxhall#helicopter RT @vctrjmnz: A helicopter crashed minutes ago on Wandsworth road twitter.com/vctrjmnz/statu…

— Lawrence (@leisuresuitlawl) January 16, 2013

2 dead in #helicopter crash in #Vauxhall, South London - latest update .. m.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-englan…twitter.com/ADELiCi0US/sta…

— Adelyn xo (@ADELiCi0US) January 16, 2013

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