Helicopter crashes near the Space Needle

Photo Courtesy Fire Buff John Odegard

At 7:40 this morning a KOMO TV News helicopter carrying two people crashed onto Broad Street near 5th Avenue igniting three cars.  The pilot and news photographer onboard were killed instantly in the crash.  A 37-year old man who was in the car hit by helicopter debris was transported to Harborview Medical Center with third degree burns.   The occupants in the other two cars were not injured.

Initial 9-1-1 calls reported a large fire ball near a building.  About 15 seconds later, multiple 9-1-1 callers described  a helicopter on the ground and three cars on fire. When firefighters arrived on scene two Seattle Police Officers were assisting the badly burned driver. This allowed firefighters critical  time to  ensure no one else was trapped in the wreckage. Firefighters quickly extinguished the burning vehicles and prevented fuel from entering the storm drains.  The damage due to the helicopter crash was confined to the three cars.

Seattle Fire Department’s heavy rescue response included a technical rescue team with specialized equipment and training for difficult extrications.  Twenty-six fire units responded to the scene with a total of approximately 50 firefighters.

The Seattle Police Department with the assistance of the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will be handling the investigation.