PreviousNext

Two dead and several injured after helicopter crashes into building in London

By // News | Breaking News | Two dead and several injured after helicopter crashes into building in London
Email to a friend Plain text Print version // Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font

Two people have been killed and several others injured after a helicopter crashed into a crane on a building site in London.

Click on the image above or HERE to launch gallery

Police said the helicopter hit the crane on top of the building, in the St George's Wharf development in Vauxhall, at around 08:00 GMT this morning.

The flaming fuselage of the helicopter crashed onto Wandsworth Road, hitting two cars and igniting two nearby buildings.

The London Ambulance Service said two people died at the scene and a further six people had been taken to hospital, five with minor injuries and one with a broken leg. Seven other people were treated at the crash site.

Police have said there was only one person in the helicopter and that the other fatality was in the proximity of where the helicopter came down.

Police confirmed that there was no one working in the crane at the time of the incident. The crane driver was on his way to work at the time.

A man was rescued from a burning car by firefighters is believed to be one of six people taken to St Thomas's Hospital by London Ambulance Service crews.

The crash happened during the morning rush hour on one of the main thoroughfares from south west London's trendy residential areas towards Waterloo and London Bridge stations, and was immediately the subject of speculation on the social networking site Twitter.

Eight fire engines, four fire rescue units and up to 60 firefighters attended the chaotic crash site in South Lambeth, and the blaze was put out in around twenty minutes.

Police have confirmed that the flight was being diverted, and a spokesman for the owners of the London Heliport at Battersea said the pilot had been asked to land there because of the bad weather.

The aircraft was originally operating from Redhill in Surrey to Elstree in Hertfordshire. The pilot has not been named.

There was reportedly thick fog in the area at the time of the incident.

Aviation fuel and burning wreckage covered the road as witnesses reported seeing cars on fire and hearing people screaming.

Sharon Moore, 39, was talking to a neighbour outside her flat when she heard the rotor blades of a helicopter. She looked up and saw a chopper careering wildly.

"The scene was so surreal, it was like something out of a movie," she told The Independent. "The helicopter was out of control.

The noise made us look up and I thought 'Oh my God'. It was swerving and then we heard a loud bang as the helicopter hit the building.

Then it just went boom, there was flame and smoke everywhere. It smashed down onto a car and all the smoke rushed towards us. I couldn't tell what kind of car or what colour because it was incinerated."

Four people at the scene were treated for shock.

Local resident Abi Manar, who lives on Walton Close, said he heard the sound of rotor blades shortly before a loud bang. "I was just taking the rubbish out and you heard the helicopter before the bang.

The smoke was unbelievable and it made you cough. It was completely dark, like a bomb had gone off."

London Fire Brigade confirmed that the crane at the St George's Wharf development appeared to have been left "in a precarious position".

Video footage shot on a mobile phone showed an entire road blocked by burning wreckage and aviation fuel.

The side of a building on one side of the street was also damaged by the flames.

John Geragaty, who runs Vauxhall Griffin pub on Wyvil Road, said that the damage could have been much worse had the accident taken place an hour later.

"The traffic on that road at 9am is completely backed up. What happened is awful but my gut instinct is it could have been evven worse if it had hit the road at that time or crashed into nearby flats."

Helicopters in London usually follow the route of the Thames, in order that they can ditch into the river if they get in trouble.

From the position of the crash it would appear the helicopter was following the river route, known as the H4, though it is unclear why the vehicle was flying so low.

It is understood that there were lights in place on top of the crane, which were checked twice a day and had been checked yesterday.

Police said road closures are in place locally.

Vauxhall Tube and Vauxhall bus station are also closed and there are some closures on rail lines into London on the rail network.

London's Counter Terrorism Command has confirmed there is 'nothing to suggest any terrorism link' at this stage.

David Cameron's official spokesman said: "Clearly the prime minister is very saddened to learn of the fatalities and injuries in this accident."

Late Mr Cameron said the rules for helicopter flights over central London would need to be carefully looked at following this morning's fatal crash.

An eyewitness to the crash described hearing an explosion like a thunderclap as he walked to work and looked up to the rotor-less helicopter plunging to the ground "like a rocket".

A spokesman for London Mayor Boris Johnson said: "This is clearly a major incident involving considerable numbers of emergency service personnel.

"The Mayor's thoughts are with the families of the two victims and with those injured.

"The Mayor has spoken with Met Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan Howe and Transport Commissioner Peter Hendy.

"He remains in close touch with all his Commissioners and he will continue to monitor the situation closely."


View Larger Map  

Tagged : No tags for this article

Headlines Newsview all

Amanda Holden at the centre of Twitter backlash as she sends daughter to school dressed as Pretty Woman prostitute for fancy dress day

A parenting group has slammed TV star Amanda Holden for posting a picture of her nine-year-old daughter 'dressed as a prostitute' online.The Britain's Got Talent ... Full story

Grandmother filmed confronting militants and branding them 'devils' before quoting verses in the Koran that forbid slaughter

An incredible video has emerged showing the moment an elderly woman bravely confronted two Islamic State militants, telling them their terror group is cursed and ... Full story

Jobseeker shocked to be sent rudest rejection email ever calling him an 'old, aesthetically challenged professional pr*** with no teeth'

A jobseeker was shocked after he was branded as 'irritating', 'rude' and 'obnoxious' in a cutting email accidentally sent to him by a prospective employer.James ... Full story

Youngsters turning their backs on binge drinking with 40% surge in teetotal teens and students

Teenagers and young adults are turning their backs on binge drinking, dramatic new figures have revealed.The proportion of teetotal 16-to-24 year olds has rocketed by ... Full story

Talented 18-year-old pianist who had won a place at Cambridge University was killed by a train after suffering a lapse into deep depression

A gifted 18-year-old pupil who had won a place at Cambridge University was killed by a train after suffering a lapse into 'deep depression', his ... Full story

Former PE teacher, 91, becomes oldest person ever sent to prison for the first time after being found guilty of string of sex attacks on boys

A 91-year-old former teacher has become the oldest person to be sent to prison for the first time after he was jailed for carrying out ... Full story

Beauty therapist who posted dozens of weight loss selfies showing off her new slim figure on Facebook is reported for encouraging nudity

A beauty therapist who posted dozens of 'selfie' pictures of her new slimline figure on Facebook said she was shocked and upset after being reported ... Full story

Parents slam former Ofsted boss Zenna Atkins who is now chair of school governors over x-rated messages she posted on public Facebook page

Parents have slammed a former Ofsted chief who is now chairman of a school's governing board over x-rated messages she posted on Facebook.Zenna Atkins, who ... Full story

Taxpayers forked out £2,300 a month for council boss on £195,000 a year salary to drive luxury Porsche

Taxpayers paid out more than £2,300 a month for a council chief executive on a £195,000 a year salary to drive around in a luxury ... Full story

30 signs YOUR relationship has hit the comfort zone (and will go the distance)

Do you go au natural around your partner, chat to them while naked and do their laundry? You've officially hit the comfort zone.New research reveals ... Full story

Number of Muslim children in England and Wales doubles in a decade with one in 12 school pupils now brought up in Islamic home

The number of Muslim children in England and Wales has doubled in a decade, according to the most detailed study of its kind.An analysis of ... Full story

Comment on: Two dead and several injured after helicopter crashes into building in London

Rate this article

0

Breaking News

Mohammed Emwazi: 'Jihadi John was my best worker', IT boss of Isis militant says

The British graduate unmasked in reports as the Isis executioner known as Jihadi John was a model employee, "calm and decent" and "very good with ...

Rebekah Brooks: Former Sun and News of the World editor reportedly poised for News Corp return as Storyful boss

Rebekah Brooks, the former editor of the now-defunct tabloid News of the World and the Sun and a much trusted lieutenant of Rupert Murdoch, may ...

Warren Buffett: I know who's taking over as Berkshire Hathaway CEO - but I'm not telling

Warren Buffett, the 84-year-old Sage of Omaha, has identified his successor, but is not telling anyone who it is yet. In his 50th annual letter to ...

Business Secretary Vince Cable warns interest rate rises could hit Londoners

Homeowners in London could be “very badly exposed” if the Bank of England raises interest rates in the coming years, the Business Secretary, Vince Cable, ...

Civil Aviation Authority rejects advice to reform board

Britain’s aviation regulator has rejected a proposal to overhaul its board structure in order to improve corporate governance, as recommended by the Big Four accountancy ...

Week Ahead: After the bloodbath at Standard Chartered investors are prepared to be disappointed

Just how bad will the damage be for Standard Chartered? After the boardroom bloodbath this week, investors are prepared for disappointment when the emerging markets ...

Sports attractions fuel capital's hotel boom

London is in the midst of a hotel boom as a growing economy and events such as this year’s rugby World Cup push occupancy rates ...

David Prosser: Small businesses hold the key to raising Britain's productivity

Improving productivity is the next big challenge for the UK’s economic policymakers. It represents an opportunity to confront one of the most awkward questions facing ...

End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how Corporation is funded

The BBC will back a radical overhaul of the licence fee, paving the way for the end of the current system of funding the state ...

End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded

The BBC will back a radical overhaul of the licence fee, paving the way for the end of the current system of funding the state ...