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Two die in Seattle TV news helicopter crash

March 18, 2014 at 1:18 PM

SEATTLE, March 18 (UPI) -- Two people aboard a television news helicopter were killed when it crashed and burned in downtown Seattle Tuesday, the Seattle Fire Department confirmed.

The KOMO-TV helicopter took off Tuesday morning from the helipad atop the Fisher Plaza office building, 50 yards from the city's iconic Space Needle, and fell to the street, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported.

Three cars caught fire after the crash, one occupied by a man who ran from his vehicle with his clothes on fire. He was hospitalized in critical condition with burns to 50 percent of his body, the fire department said.

Flames and black smoke poured from the wreckage, and spilled fuel from the helicopter caught fire and burned for a block from the accident scene, KOMO-TV said. Fire crews extinguished the fire after about a half hour.

"It looked like the helicopter was trying to take off and it was just trying to stabilize. It just took a nose dive right down there on the street," a witness told KOMO-TV.

The names of the victims have not been released.

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