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UPDATE: Federal Aviation Experts Comb Through Debris Of Deadly Crash In Seattle

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

(KING) A pilot and photographer were killed when a KOMO news helicopter crashed on top of three vehicles outside Seattle Center Tuesday morning and caught fire.

A third person was taken to the hospital with serious burns.

Today, investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board are on the scene looking for the cause of the accident.

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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.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


Previous Story

Two people were killed when a news helicopter for KOMO-TV crashed outside its station near the Seattle Space Needle, sending clouds of black smoke over the city during the morning rush hour.

The Seattle Fire Department said 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. No other details were immediately available.

The station says the copter was apparently lifting off from 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.

Plumes of black smoke rose from the crash scene as rescue vehicles converged on the area.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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