News helicopter crashes near Seattle Center

Screen Shot 2014-03-18 at 9.18.30 AMA news helicopter crashed onto vehicles driving below on Broad St Tuesday morning in a fiery tragedy that killed two people and sent one man to the hospital with burns over 50% 15 to 20% of his body.

The 7:40 AM crash near KOMO TV’s Fisher Plaza left the charred wreckage of three vehicles and the new copter strewn in the middle of Broad Street following a large response by Seattle Fire.

The two occupants of the helicopter are confirmed dead. The 38-year-old male burn victim who was inside one of the cars engulfed by the ignited helicopter fuel was rushed to the hospital.

Federal investigators are working to determine the sequence of events that lead to the crash. Eyewitnesses have said the helicopter was attempting to take off, then appeared to malfunction before falling sideways and crashing.

While news copters have been a staple of TV and radio news for decades, their use has declined as costs rise and operations are optimized. The helicopter that crashed Tuesday is reportedly a leased vehicle that is shared by KOMO and KING television stations.

Video of the crash scene is below.

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