A news chopper for local Seattle news station station KOMO crashed right after take off earlier this morning, coming down on top of two cars and exploded into flames next to the Space Needle. Two people are reported to be dead, according to the Seattle Fire Department.
One person was seen running from the wreckage of their car with a sleeve on fire, which was put out by first responders, according to KOMO. Another 37-year old man was taken to the hospital with critical injuries.
Eyewitnesses from the station are saying that the helicopter took off with its nose down, and "sounded heavy" while attempting to take off, before rolling over and coming down on its side.
The helicopter crashed right next to KOMO's news room after possibly clipping the KOMO building, giving its reporters a horrifying view of the trauma to their colleagues:
A video of the crash aftermath is below. Fair warning, it shows a live accident scene, in which at least two people were killed:
Twitter user @kalliem claims she was driving her car when the helicopter nearly crashed on top of her:
The bodies of the deceased have not yet been removed from the helicopter, pending the arrival of National Transportation Safety Board investigators, according to a Seattle FD spokesman. The helicopter was reported to be a Eurocopter AS350, by Clark Stahl, a former chopper pilot for competitor news station KIRO, and was reported by KING to be owned by leasing company Helicopters, Inc.
A person who answered the phone at Helicopters, Inc., could not confirm or deny that the helicopter was theirs, although they did say the company would be preparing a statement.
The injured man is reported to have deep burns over 15% to 20% of his body, and will be surely enduring many surgeries over the next few days.