A news helicopter crashed near the Seattle Space Needle on Tuesday morning. The Seattle Fire Department reported two fatalities from the chopper and one critical injury from a driver on the ground.
KOMO-TV reports that two cars were struck in the crash. The station also reports that 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.
Kyle Moore, a spokesperson for the Seattle Fire Department, held a press conference where he explained many details of the crash. Moore confirmed that the two people in the helicopter were killed. 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. He 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.
The Seattle Police Department reported that in addition to the two fatalities, a 37-year-old male was taken to a nearby hospital with "critical injuries."
Photos taken of the aftermath showed a stark scene.
Details of the crash are scant and continue to come in. Photos, including the one below posted to Twitter by Deb Slater, show just how close the crash was to the Space Needle landmark. KOMO reports that the crash was about "50 yards" away from the Space Needle.
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.
This story is developing.