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Two killed as news helicopter crashes into cars near Space Needle

Helicopter crashes in downtown Seattle near the Space Needle, setting cars on fire.

Three cars were hit by a falling news helicopter near the Seattle Space Needle this morning in a freak accident that left one of the motorists, a 37-year old man, with burns over half his body, and at least two others, identified as Bill Strothman a contractor and former photographer for KOMO, and Gary Pfitzner, also a contractor, dead. Both the men killed had been passengers on the chopper.

According to local station KOMO-TV, their news helicopter “had been trying to take off from the roof of Fisher Plaza, across the street from the Space Needle, and may have hit the side of the building.
The burn victim was taken to an area hospital, while a woman reportedly escaped from her car unharmed and was able to walk to a nearby police station. A third driver has yet to be located, although someone stated they had seen him walk to a local McDonald’s.

At least 15 fire trucks were on site and able to put the blaze out within a half-hour. However the smoke from the accident could be seen across the city. The tragedy is now being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board.

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