LONDON - A helicopter pilot who diverted from his original flight path due to bad weather collided with a tower crane atop The Tower, a tall edifice in South London. Two were killed as a result of the crash and seven were treated for injury. The two fatalities included the helicopter pilot and a man who was on the ground. Most of those being treated for injury appear to have been struck by debris from the crash.
Around 80 firefighters were on the scene working to put out several fires. Some of the wreckage was ablaze on the streets and two buildings caught close to the accident caught fire.
The helicopter was originally scheduled to land in Elstree in Hertfordshire but requested to be diverted to a London heliport due to inclement weather. The pilot of the Agusta 109 lightweight, twin-engine, helicopter is believed to be the only person on board when the crash occurred.
London officials are mourning the loss of the two lives but are thankful that the damage and fatalities were somewhat minimal. The crash occurred in a busy and densely populated area of South London and was originally feared to have caused more than a dozen fatalities.
The Civil Aviation Authority issued a statement saying the pilots had been notified previously of the crane that was involved in the crash. Parts of the crane are still hanging from the building.
Erin Rogers, a bystander who was awaiting her morning bus, said, "It was a bit surreal actually. I just had a coffee in my hand. I looked up, heard a bang and saw bits of crane debris falling to the floor. Then the helicopter was in flames. The rest of the people at the bus station were looking on and going 'What was that.' It's something that I never will forget."