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2 dead as Fiery helicopter crash near Space Needle

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A news helicopter crashed Tuesday morning near the
Space Needle in Seattle, killing both people inside the helicopter and
critically injuring another who was in a vehicle on the ground, a
spokesman for the Seattle Fire Department said.
The injured man, 37, extricated himself from one of three vehicles that
caught fire and was taken to Harborview Medical Center in critical
condition with burns over 50% of his body, said the spokesman, Kyle
Moore.
A woman inside a second car was not injured; a man inside a third
vehicle — a pickup truck — had left the scene and was being sought
by authorities, Moore said. “We want to talk to him just to make sure
he’s OK,” he said.
Moore said that he didn’t know what led to the crash, but that it did
not appear that any buildings were struck by the leased helicopter,
which was destroyed. “What we have left is basically just a part of
the tail and burnt-out metal from the main chassis of the helicopter,”
he said.
The crash occurred on Broad Street, near the city landmark, he said.
Arriving firefighters found lines of blazing fuel in the street and thick,
black smoke covering the area, with “wreckage strewn across the lawn
along with wreckage across the street,” he said.
CNN affiliate KOMO said the helicopter crashed near its offices. It
was used by CNN affiliates KOMO and KING, according to
KING’s website .
Rich Marriott, a meteorologist for KING, said weather did not
appear to have contributed to the crash — visibility was clear and
winds were calm, he said.
The incident occurred around 7:40 a.m., more than two hours before
the Space Needle was to open but at a time when the area was abuzz
with commuters en route to work. The Bill & Melinda Gates
Foundation offices are about a quarter-mile away.
Representatives of the National Transportation Safety Board and
the Federal Aviation Administration were expected to help
investigate the crash.

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