Helicopter crash in London - two confirmed dead: latest
Helicopter hits crane on St George Wharf tower in dense fog shortly after 8am and plunges to ground and bursts into flames• Several cars in the area catch fire.
The Metropolitan police commissioner, Bernard Hogan-Howe, said there were 11 casualties, with two dead, one the lone helicopter pilot 50 year old Captain Pete Barnes and the other an unidentified bystander, one person critically ill, and others "less seriously injured".
Eight fire engines, four fire rescue units and around 60 firefighters plus officers attended the scene of the crash, a few hundred yards from MI6, on the Nine Elms Lane, London SW8, UK.
The aircraft is understood to be an AgustaWestland AW109, a lightweight, twin-engine helicopter with eight seats.
Further reports from the scene suggest the crane operator was running late and not yet on their way up the 770 ft. crane.
Eyewitness Sharon Moore, told the Guardian that the helicopter was in 'a distressed state' as it approached the St George's Wharf development.
"It then slammed into the tower 'slicing into the crane' and then dropped to the ground. She believes she was one of the first to call the police and 'they responded in minutes.'"
She said the top of St George's was obscured in fog. “It [the helicopter] couldn't see the way it was supposed to be going it tried to turn but it didn't make it and it ripped the scaffolding [crane] in half like a piece of paper. But you could see the helicopter was distressed before it got to the building. We were watching it unfolding.”
She said the chopper fell to the ground instantly. “It just dropped. You know, its like when you just let go of something it just dropped.”
Here is a map of helicopter routes over London. Today's crash was near the Battersea helipad.