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Seattle helicopter: Helicopter crash near Seattle's Space Needle leaves 2 dead

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A Seattle helicopter crash left two dead this morning, as a news helicopter used by two local television networks out of Seattle crashed, killing two of three individuals in the helicopter and injuring a fourth person on the ground.

According to NBC News on Tuesday, the helicopter, “operated by local television network KOMO, an ABC affiliate, and also used by KING5, an NBC affiliate, went down near Seattle's Space Needle at about 7:40 a.m. PT.”

Morning commuters could see large plumes of black smoke over the Seattle skyline. Officials are still looking into the cause of the crash. Weather does not appear to be a factor.

The crash started at least three vehicles on the ground on fire. A man trapped inside one of the burning cars had to be pulled to safety by firefighters.

The crash occurred in the 400 block of Broad Street, next to Fisher Plaza, where news station KOMO is housed, only 15 yards or so away from the iconic Space Needle.

Seattle resident Ryan Kirk witnessed the crash.

“I saw black smoke coming up right by the Space Needle, like the Space Needle was on fire,” Kirk said. “I knew it was something serious. You almost had to cover your face. There was helicopter debris everywhere.”

The chopper crashed shortly after takeoff. Witnesses say the helicopter took off from the roof of the news station, hit the side of the building and fell onto the cars below.

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