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News Helicopter Crash in Seattle Kills Pilot and Photographer

A news helicopter crashed on top of three vehicles Tuesday morning, leaving two people dead and one person seriously injured. The fatal crash happened in Seattle, Washington at around 7:40 a.m. near Fisher Plaza, on the 400 block of Broad Street. 

A witness said he saw the helicopter land and stay on a helipad for a few moments at Fisher Plaza, home of KOMO. When the pilot went to take off again, the sound of the helicopter changed dramatically, pitching sideways before entering a nosedive. The helicopter, a Eurostar AS350 B2, clipped some trees on the way down and crashed on top of three vehicles near the Seattle Space Needle.

First responders arrived on the scene to find the helicopter, two cars and a pickup truck engulfed in flames. Photographer Bill Strothman and pilot Gary Pfitzner were killed in the crash. Richard Newman, 38, was rushed to a local hospital with serious burns covering 20 percent of his body. His was one of the vehicles caught in the wreckage and subsequent fire. No one in any of the other vehicles was seriously injured.

Investigators will look at the helicopter itself, which was owned by Helicopters, Inc., as well as the pilot and weather at the time of the crash. According to King 5 News, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has dispatched a team to the crash site. A preliminary report on the crash is expected within a few days. 


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