17 Jan 2013

Helicopter crashes in central London

9:56 pm on 17 January 2013

Two people have died after a helicopter crashed into a crane on top of a residential block in central London.

Emergency services were called to the scene, near the River Thames at Vauxhall, about 8am )(local time) on Wednesday after the aircraft cartwheeled to the road.

Helicopter pilot Pete Barnes and pedestrian Matthew Wood were killed in the crash, the BBC reports.

Mr Barnes, 50, from near Reading in Berkshire, had flown for Redhill firm Rotormotion for 15 years and has been described by colleagues as "highly skilled".

Mr Wood, 39, from Sutton, was killed as he made his way on foot to his job at Rentokil.

An investigation has begun into why the helicopter hit the crane on The Tower, One St George Wharf, in South Lambeth.

Twelve people were injured and five of them were taken to hospital. One person suffered a broken leg while the others had minor injuries.

Pilot Pete Barnes Pete Barnes had worked as a pilot on action films including the James Bond movie Die Another Day.

Cars and two buildings caught fire after the burning wreckage from the helicopter and a part of the crane fell into Wandsworth Road.