Two people were killed and one was critically injured when the KOMO News helicopter crashed and burned Tuesday morning on Broad Street only yards away from the Space Needle. Emergency personnel immediately rushed to the scene. Two vehicles were struck in the crash. Witnesses said a man could be seen running from from one car with his sleeve on fire, and he was extinguished by officers at the scene. Huge flames and plumes of black smoke poured from the burning wreckage, about 50 yards from the base of the Space Needle. Fuel gushing from the wreckage caught fire and burned for a block from the crash scene. The Seattle Fire Department said two people were found dead in the wreckage. A third person was rushed to Harborview Medical Center for treatment of critical injuries. Witnesses said the helicopter crashed as it was taking off from the roof of Fisher Plaza, across the street from the Space Needle.
"We mourn the loss of a couple of our co-workers today," KOMO-TV anchor Dan Lewis said during a breaking news segment. "It's so difficult for us to look at this scene, of the wreckage down there."
Reporting from the street, reporter Denise Whitaker said, "It is definitely a tragic scene down here. It is a difficult time for all of us this morning."
Fire crews were able to extinguish the flames within a half-hour. Traffic was diverted from the area.
-- Full Disclosure: KOMO is owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group. Sinclair Broadcast Group also owns KVII --