Two people are dead and another is in critical condition after a news helicopter crashed in downtown Seattle Tuesday morning.
An A-Star helicopter that was used in a joint partnership between KOMO and KING 5 news stations crashed on top of several vehicles while trying to land near the Space Needle at about 7:45 a.m. PT.
Seattle Police are advising people to stay away from the area:
All traffic approaching the Seattle Center is blocked at current time, 5th Ave N, Broad St, Denny Way, Mercer St. Please avoid the area.
— seattledot (@seattledot) March 18, 2014
This investigation will continue for many hours. Please stay away from area. We will update with information as we learn more.
— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) March 18, 2014
Here are some more tweets and video from the scene:
Medics transporting an approx 37 yo male to HMC in critical condition self extricated from car pic.twitter.com/hhVAX0qmbs
— Seattle Fire Dept (@SeattleFire) March 18, 2014
— Kelly Koopmans (@KellyKOMO4) March 18, 2014
— Carol Alfonso (@caa1000) March 18, 2014
I'm fine. But we're all in disbelief. pic.twitter.com/qoMHUJhr0c
— Seth Wayne (@SethonKOMO) March 18, 2014
Watched as the helicopter fell right past my window. Horrifying. pic.twitter.com/Nwpf3pqaTY
— Michael Harthorne (@MikeHarthorne) March 18, 2014
Update, 8:50 a.m.
KOMO is reporting that the helicopter was attempting to take off just before it crashed. KING5 also just spoke to an eyewitness, who said that the helicopter had landed on top of a building, hovered for a few minutes and then lost control as it crashed.
Witnesses say KOMO news helicopter took off, rotated once, nose dipped and crashed to street below, landing on two cars below.
— Dan Catchpole (@dcatchpole) March 18, 2014
Update, 9:05 a.m.
Kyle Moore, spokesperson for the Seattle Fire Department, said that the area near Fisher Plaza will be shut down for “quite a while” as the NTSB conducts an investigation.
The two people in the helicopter were pronounced dead at the scene. Another male in his car — the one in critical condition —was transported to the hospital with burns on 50 percent of his body.
There were two others in vehicles at the crash. Moore said that one female made it to a nearby police department, but another male ran away from the scene and it’s unclear where he is.
Moore noted that the only visible part of the helicopter left is the tail end, as the rest is burned.
Update, 9:35 a.m.
The Space Needle will be closed today:
The Space Needle and SkyCity will be closed today out of respect for those impacted.
— Space Needle (@space_needle) March 18, 2014