Two dead in news helicopter crash near Seattle Space Needle

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Helicopter Crashes in Seattle

Helicopter Crashes in Seattle

Helicopter Crashes in Seattle

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Helicopter Crashes in Seattle

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KIRO TV. Credit: YouTube/Alex McBurney">

A news helicopter crashed near the Seattle Space Needle on Tuesday morning. The Seattle Fire Department reported two deaths and at least one critical injury.

KOMO-TV reported that two cars were struck in the crash and firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze within a half-hour. The copter had reportedly been trying to take off from the roof of Fisher Plaza, across the street from the Space Needle, according to the KOMO. It may have hit the side of a building. Spirals of smoke could be seen across the city.

The Seattle Police Department reported that in addition to the two fatalities, who were passengers on the copter, a 37-year-old male was taken to a nearby hospital with "critical injuries."

Kyle Moore, a spokesperson for the Seattle Fire Department, said at a press conference the critical injury was to a motorist whose car was struck by the falling chopper. The man was able to pull himself out from his badly damaged car. Moore said the man suffered burns to over 50 percent of his body and remains in critical condition.

Two other cars were affected by the crash. Moore said that a woman escaped her car uninjured and walked to a nearby police station. The third driver has yet to be found. Moore told reporters he was seen walking toward a McDonald's, seemingly relatively unharmed.

Moore said that there were approximately 15 fire rescue vehicles on the scene.

 Photos taken of the aftermath showed a stark scene.

Photos, including the one below posted to Twitter by Deb Slater, show just how close the crash was to the Space Needle landmark. 

Kelly Koopmans of KOMO-TV reported that only the chopper's tail and "scattered pieces" of debris remain. She wrote that three cars were affected by the crash.

Follow Mike Krumboltz on Twitter (@mikekrumboltz).

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