Smoke and fire could be seen coming from the scene for miles in the Seattle area.
The Seattle Fire Department said two people died on the scene. One person is in critical condition. It is not clear if the casualties were in the helicopter or vehicles.
KOMO 4 News in Seattle confirmed that a news helicopter used in joint partnership between KOMO 4 News and KING 5 News crashed on Broad Street near the Space Needle.
Tribune Broadcasting’s KCPQ, FOX 17’s sister station, said that Helicopters Incorporated based in Oregon, which owns the helicopter, said the chopper may have hit a crane during takeoff. There is construction in the area.
KCPQ says emergency crews have the entire area on lock down as emergency crews pour through the wreckage. A security guard at a nearby building ran to the burning helicopter to help one of the victims, said a KCPQ reporter.
Another KCPQ reporter stated a construction worker told her he saw the chopper try to take off at KOMO 4 News studios, then the helicopter crashed and exploded. Two cars started on fire. An eyewitness told KCPQ that they saw two people in the car badly burned.
“Fortunately we only have one person critical and that person is hanging on at the hospital. We had two people in the helicopter pass away,” said a firefighter during a news conference.
At least three vehicles were damaged during the crash. All three cars were on fire.
One of the people in the car is in critical condition. Firefighters said he was able to get out of his vehjicle. He was found in the middle of the street. He has burns to over 50 percent of his body.
Firefighters said another woman made her way to a police precinct.
There is a search for another person in a vehicle whose pick-up truck was struck by the helicopter. That person’s condition is unclear.
No firefighters were injured on the scene.