SEATTLE (AP) - A news helicopter crashed into the street and exploded into flames near Seattle's Space Needle, killing two people on board and badly injuring a man in a car.
The chopper was taking off from the KOMO-TV station Tuesday morning when it went down on Broad Street and hit three vehicles, starting them on fire and spewing burning fuel down the street.
A witness said the helicopter lifted about 5 feet and was about to clear a building when it tilted. It looked like it was trying to correct itself when it took a dive downward.
A 37-year-old man in one of the cars managed to free himself and was taken to Harborview Medical Center in critical condition. A fire department spokesman said the man had burns on more than 50 percent of body.
KOMO said on the air that the pilot of the helicopter was Gary Pfitzner. The other man killed was Bill Strothman, a former longtime KOMO photographer who was working for the helicopter leasing company.
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